Well this makes sense now!

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There were a few things that surprised me last weekend at Daytona.

TWO “The Big One’s” knocking out every popular driver not named Danica.

There were a few things that caught me off guard.

SEEING guys like Landon Cassill and David Ragan leading most of the race.

And there were a few things that just down right left me scratching my head. But after the semi-final round of the World Cup, with Germany dismantling Brazil 7-1 scoring freaking 5 goals in the first 30 minutes, my head can go un-scratched.

After that game, these images from the past weekend make total sense now!

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Straight off the bat, new logo this year — they were really banking on the Germans pitching a shutout. The Coke Seven To Zero. JUST ONE OFF!

Weird on Sunday. Makes total sense on Tuesday.

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Brazil car gets caught up in the first “Big One” while the Germany Seven car gets through untouched.

Weird on Sunday. Makes total sense after Tuesday.

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A group of young girls, apparently Rammstein fans (nothing weird about that) are not fans of the Rio movies and enjoying jumping in some puddles during one of the rain breaks.

Weird on Sunday. Makes total sense after Tuesday.

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The Pontiac Brazil 1 to 7 car in total disarray on Sunday.

Actually not that weird on Sunday. Still holds up today.

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Aric Almirola in victory lane on Sunday. Remind you that Aric is of Cuban-American decent and is clearly holding up a German flag in victory lane. May have been okay if it was Cuban flag. Ehh – on second that. Since it was Independence day weekend, it really should have been an American flag.

Weird on Sunday. Makes a little bit of sense on Tuesday, but still a little in the face of the spirit of the weekend. But hey Aric..

Hey. To each their own. Go Germany!

 

 

If you ain’t rubbing, you ain’t racing

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This past Saturday Sunday morning we got to see one hell of a show at the Firecracker 400 Coke Zero 400 at one of the most fun, fast, and fascinating places in all of the great history of motorsports – the Rain Forrest Daytona, Florida.

See what I did there?

Except a few problems that I would love to see changed.

  1. No more rain.
  2. No more multiple 15 car pileups involving damn near every chase driver while the top three drivers resembles a law firm more than a Sprint Cup race in July. (ie: Ragan, Cassill and Associates)
  3. No more boring races.

NASCAR: Coke Zero 400

Now I understand a few of those things can’t be avoided. Okay most all of them can’t be avoided but I think I am going to take a stab at if you don’t mind.

Oh you don’t?

Great!

  1. No more rain.

So there are these football stadiums, one in Dallas, one in Detroit and one in Phoenix just to name three – that have these things called roof. And to even take it a step further, these are retractable! So if it’s not raining, we got sunshine! But when you plan a race off the Atlantic Ocean in Hurricane season – press a beautiful button or even a clapper and as soon as Brian Neudorff sees green, “Clap on, clap off – the Clapper!” But leave it on.

Alternative Idea: Windshield Wipers

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2. No more multi car pileups.

Like the ole saying goes.. You know how it goes. But when you start rubbing too much, that ain’t necessarily racing now is it? You have to have guys on the track to race! How about we put bumpers all around the car like them bumper cars you would ride around at the fair when you were younger. Sure we will slow the cars down a good couple dozen MPH but anytime you bump up into someone you won’t be sent to the garage packing and starting throwing around the term “Hero” facetiously.

Alternative Idea: Start rooting for the guys who finally get a chance to run up front with the big boys.

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3. No more boring races.

Listen. As soon as the last red flag dropped just past halfway point. I turned the television off. Not only because my girlfriend had it up to here (my hand is really high off the ground right now) with NASCAR for one day/season/lifetime. But because I knew we weren’t going back to green flag racing. Boring. Too predictable. Give these guys rocket launchers, a twelve pack and an unlimited gift card for Sonoco fuel – that will liven things up!

Alternative Idea: Stop complaining about boring races. Not every race is going to be a knock’em out, drag’em out, short track, cross the finish line before we run out of fuel just hundred of thousands of seconds before three other guys kind of race. Get over it.

Plus, seeing these guys – and gals go 200mph trying to out race a radar, and 40 other guys isn’t boring. It’s white fist thrilling as hell.

Tony Stewart isn’t going to throw his helmet at a moving car every race. DW’s pit crew isn’t going to start a fight with another pit crew every race (plus it’d be weird if DW still had a pit crew). And you can absolutely bet that no one is going to run his face into Cale Yarborough’s fist, again and again – anytime soon.

BUT IT WOULD BE AWESOME RIGHT?!

Heck yeah it would be awesome. It’d be awesome if Dale Earnhardt, Tupac and Amelia Earhart were all stranded on a dessert island somewhere explaining to Tupac the extra N in Dale’s name and which one of them attempted to fly around the globe.

BUT IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

Long story short. We aren’t going to to get an instant classic every Sunday. It’d be awesome. But it’s not going to happen. Sometimes we are going to get a good ole fashion All-American auto race. Between some badass dudes and chicks driving some badass American Muscle cars and Toyotas.

So for everyone out there complaining about the race this past 4th of July Holiday weekend (assuming people are), get over it!

And if no one is complaining. This is just a reminder to myself.. If you ain’t rubbing you ain’t racing.

And not every race is going to knock your socks off.

Oh and the whole Tupac thing – forget about it.

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About to.. lose a REAL bet to a FAKE person!

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Way back in the dog days of April, nearly 2 months ago but really closer to 1 and a half month ago I went out on a limb – ehh? – and said that Jimmie Johnson would not win before or during the Coca Cola 600.

Well ladies and gentlemen today is arguable the greatest day of the year. With 1100 miles in racing, and way more ego points on the line, like double 1100 and times a bunch more. I’m starting to get nervous.

It’s not the talk of the NASCAR town, but it is definitely one of the main story lines this year – that is the fact that Jimmie Johnson, Mr. 6 Time, Mr. Unstoppable – has been more stoppable than un and has yet to cross the finish line first in a single race so far in 2014.

Will it be tonight? I sure hope not! You see, if we hop back in to the way back machine, I said Jimmie Johnson wouldn’t win before OR during the 600. Not just before! Idiot! And you see, I kinda (not really at all) made a REAL bet with a FAKE (I’m sure it’s not a bot) person on Twitter.

Not that any of you care.. But I do! You see, I would feel really cool if I was correct on something like this! It would make me like a NASCAR expert or something! I would join the ranks of like the great Nascar James or Sir Sprint Cupps!

We all know Jimmie will win eventually. He will more than likely win in bunches! But please Jimmie, don’t win tonight – I don’t want to lose my REAL bet to this FAKE person I’ve never met!

 

 

Where you at JJ?

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Last week I went out on somewhat of a limb saying that Jimmie Johnson wouldn’t win until at least June.

I also wrote something saying something like Kevin Harvick should probably start getting concerned here soon.

Well Kevin Harvick sure has nothing to worry about after a dominating performance in Darlington for his second win this year. But Jimmie Johnson still remains winless, and makes me begin to wonder. Where you at JJ?

He will win before the Chase. He will make the Chase. He may win the Championship. So let’s just throw all that, “What if Jimmie Johnson doesn’t make it to the Chase?” crap. He’s going to.

But when?

After the Easter break and luxurious vacation by most if not all drivers that will be happening this weekend. We head to Richmond, Talladega, Kansas and Charlotte for the All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 to round out May before Summer racing officially starts.

Jimmie has won 1 time in Richmond,  2 times at Dega, 2 times in I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore as well as 3 consecutive years in a row winning in Charlotte.

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Not bad numbers, but not overly impressive numbers either. It’s a crap shoot at Dega and safe to say anything can happen in Charlotte as well. The chances of him winning are good but not likely, especially the way he’s been running this year. He’s not even the best driver on his team this year! Maybe not even the 2nd best! But he’s still miles ahead of you Kasey. Sorry.

Here’s the thing though. Why does Jimmie have to win now? Again, he’s going to. But maybe he doesn’t want to, need to, I’m sure he wants to but does he need to?

Why not mess around all spring and summer, get one or two wins and make the Chase and sneak up on everybody. He doesn’t have to crank out 5 wins in the regular season anymore. You win, and you’re in.

Perhaps Chad Knaus, the Bill Belichick or the Gregg Popovich of NASCAR is taking a page out of their books – just make the playoffs. Don’t over exert yourself. Yes yes I know, football and basketball is nothing like NASCAR – they are athletes in those sports. (Shut up Donavon McNabb) NASCAR doesn’t quite take the same toll on your body as those physical sports so you don’t have to rest for the playoffs.

But why beat yourself up, your equipment up or show your hand when you don’t have to? Chad Knaus is a genius.  He’s the best crew chief in the sport. Together with Jimmie Johnson, obviously, makes one of the best teams in the history of the sport. Maybe he knows something we don’t know? Like where JJ is.

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It’s a new outlook this season with new rules. It so far has been one of the strangest NASCAR starts I have ever witnessed. So in my personal opinion, don’t expect a handful of wins this year out of the 48 team. But if it happens – fuck I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s Jimmie Johnson after all! But until then.

Where you at JJ?

 

Darlington This Weekend // Best & Worst Paint Schemes

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Best of the best: Kasey Kahne in the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet

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It’s a rough batch here. But I guess I have to give it to ya Kasey. Or Great Clips. Seems like most cars are going the black paint route due to the fact that they are racing at “The Lady in Black.” Kasey’s sublte blues and yellow-ish greens really accent well with the red — I shouldn’t have slept in colors class in college. Yeah, that’s a class..

Probably the best idea: Jamie McMurray in the #1 CESSNA/Beechcraft Chevrolet

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It’s definitely going to hide those black stripes that everyone will most certainly earn at Darlington this weekend. I do feel bad for you Beechcraft though.. Because after this race people will more likely be thinking this was a Ricky Bobby car with zero sponsors. This thing is going to be blacker than — nope. I guess, er. Night.

A for effort: David Ragan in the #34 CSX Ford

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By lap 2 that “Around Railroad Tracks” is going to be painted black. All anyone is going to see is “Play it Safe.” I mean you can at least ask David, I don’t think anyone is going to be so willing to obey your request. Darlington’s Twitter handle isn’t @TooToughToTame for a reason. It’s only 8 races in, but driver’s have got to be getting antsy. There’s 16 spots in the chase this year – you basically win and you’re in. So at least you tried David, but I don’t think anyone is going to be playing it safe this weekend trying to run down that checkered flag.

Get on board or get to Russia!

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Yesterday wrapped up a two day tire test for a few NASCAR drivers and Goodyear at Michigan International Speedway. And shit got real.

After the debacle that was Martinsville, where you weren’t the cool kid in class unless you blew a tire – like peeing your pants in Billy Madison. People, not smart, er – less informed immediately began to blame Goodyear. Makes sense, they make the tires. But Goodyear quickly through together a rebuttal of – hey crew chiefs, how about you listen to us once and a while and fill them damn tires up all the way.

All of this is besides the point, and Goodyear could use a little boost, news, fun in the sun, to get back in good graces of NASCAR Nation.

That’s where Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne come in.

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Yeah. You read that right. 217 mph. Now if you can’t get on board with that, just move right to Russia. Or North Korea. Cause that’s just straight badass son.

217 miles per freaking hour! Last year, Joey Logano set the track qualifying record at 203 mph. That’s a whole 14 mph faster! Holy hell Goodyear, what you got in those tires? Could this be our first ever case of performance enhancing drugs in tires? If there’s one way to get people to forget about your tires blowing up more than Kurt Busch on an ESPN reporter, it’s to top out at 215 plus.

It sure got me counting down the days to Michigan. Well done Goodyear.

When do you start getting concerned Kevin Harvick?

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You’re Kevin Harvick. You’re with a new team this year who happens to be one of your best bros. You got to keep all your sponsors. You have one of the best crew chiefs in the sport. You are coming off yet another Top 3 finish in the chase and you already have one dominating win this year which pretty much guarantees you a spot in the chase.

So what do you have to be concerned about?

Well.. Where do we start.

Maybe it’s the fact that Kevin currently sits in 26th place in points. Or the fact that he’s finished 36th or worse in 4 of 7 races this year. Maybe it’s the fact that if his or your car has it, Kevin has broken it. Hub, engine, tires, tires, tires and just about everything else. Maybe it’s an inexperienced young #4 Team or maybe it’s an under achieving cast of characters in Stewart-Haas Racing.

Whatever it is. It needs to be figured out soon.

There’s 19 more races until the start of the Chase. And while beginning to worry now would be like the Cubs planning on playing in October. It’s extremely too early to tell. But things need to shape up soon. Very soon.

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At times when Harv is good.. Holy shit is he good. He’s had one of if not the fastest car at one point in time for every single race this year. But when things go bad.. It’s like rooting for the aforementioned Cubbies. Extremely painful.

I wish I knew the statistics and could give some scientific day and time on when Rodney Childers needs to get his #4 back on track or update his resume again, but I don’t. If someone knows, anyone, please let me know.

Until then, I don’t think we are going to be concerned just yet. Not just yet. But for the sake of every Budweiser Racing fan, Rodney, Delana, the whole Stewart-Haas racing team, Jimmy Johns, my heart, and Mr. Kevin Harvick. Let’s just hope things shape up very soon.

 

“Quote, Unquote” // NASCAR Power Rankings No. 4

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Going on four what feels like a dozen races in to the 2014 NASCAR season, and it just keeps getting better doesn’t it? If you didn’t like the rubbin’ and racing at Bristol, then you can just get the hell out. Dale fell from grace this week, not too far, but we had quite the shakeup. If I was ranking on how they woulda, coulda and shoulda finished (and I was close), Mr. Kevin Harvick would be your clear number one driver. Thanks again for those engines Rick Hendrick! Either way, it has been a bleeping heck of a good time through four races, and next week we head back west to Fontana fun!

This week – because it has been raining like cats and dogs and they sure have been coincidentally been promoting the hell, sorry Jesus, out of this Noah movie. Ladies and gentlemen, Russell Crowe.

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1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 2) – American Gangster

FBI Agent: If you want, we can assign someone to you?

Detective Richie Roberts: FBI protection? My life is dangerous enough as it is!

2. Carl Edwards (LW: 7) – Noah

Noah: The beginning! The beginning of everything!

3. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3) – Gladiator

Robin Longstride: Ask me nicely.

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4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 4) – 3:10 to Yuma

Ben Wade: Remind me never to play poker in this town.

5. Jeff Gordon (LW: 6) – Robin Hood

Robin Longstride: Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.

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6. Joey Logano (LW: 4) – A Beautiful Mind

Nash: They are my past. Everyone is haunted by their past.

7. Denny Hamlin (LW: NR) – Gladiator 

Maximus: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.

8. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 5) – Gladiator

Maximus: Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

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9. Kasey Kahne (LW: NR) – Man of Steel

Jor-El: Our people can co-exist.

10. Matt Kenseth (LW: 9) – A Beautiful Mind

Nash: In competitive behavior someone always loses.

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Honorable Mention

Greg Biffle (LW: NR) – Mystery, Alaska

John Biebe: You’ve been smilin’ a lot lately.

Tony Stewart (LW: NR) – A Beautiful Mind

Nash: You wanted to see if I was crazy and would screw everything up if I actually won.

“Quote, Unquote” // NASCAR Power Rankings No. 3

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Three races in to the 2014 NASCAR season and it has been exciting as all get out. Dale Jr. rolled the dice (never gets old) in Vegas and came up short, just a little bit and the Karate Kid Brad Keselowski took home the victory. There wasn’t much of a shake up towards the top, but everyone else who hasn’t won a race yet this year really needs to figure their shit out. Next week we head to Bristol for some good ole short track racing! Boogity!

This week – because he has a Karate Kid of his own, and because rumors are going around that he recently died on a movie shoot, he didn’t we want to honor Will Smith. Remember, he didn’t die, believe it or not some things on the internet are not true. Unless you read it here. Ladies and gentlemen, Will Smith.

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1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 1) – Men In Black

Jay: There’s only one way off this planet, baby, and that’s through me.

2. Brad Keselowski (LW: 3) – Independence Day

Captain Steven Hiller: I ain’t heard no fat lady!

3. Kevin Harvick (LW: 2) – Independence Day

Captain Steven Hiller: I could’ve been at a barbecue!

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4. Joey Logano (LW: 9) – Men In Black

Jay: You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look GOOD.

5. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 4) – Ali

Muhammad Ali: Is that all you got?

6. Jeff Gordon (LW: 5) – Enemy of the State

Robert Clayton Dean: Conspiracy theorists of the world unite.

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7. Carl Edwards (LW: 10) – Bad Boys

Mike Lowrey: Now that’s how you supposed to drive! From now on that’s how you drive!

8. Ryan Newman (LW: NR) – Hancock

Hancock: All of you people, blocking the intersection, you’re all idiots.

9. Matt Kenseth (LW: 7) – Hitch

Hitch: I just know that I want to be… miserable. Like, really miserable. But hey, if that’s what it takes for me to be happy, then… wait, that didn’t come out right.

10. Kyle Busch (LW: 6) – Wild Wild West

Capt. James West: Actually, I was thinking I’d stuff your little half-an-ass into one of these cannons and fertilize the landscape with ya.

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Honorable Mention

Paul Menard (LW: NR) – Bad Boys

Marcus Burnett: Hey man where-where-where’s your cup holder?

Mike Lowrey: I don’t have one.

Marcus Burnett: What the f- w’you mean you don’t have one? Eighty thousand dollars for this car and you ain’t got no damn cup holder?

Mike Lowrey: It’s $105,000 and this happens to be one of the fastest production cars on the planet. Zero to sixty in four seconds, sweetie. It’s a limited edition.

EDUCATE News No.3 // Brad Doubles Down in Vegas #NASCAR (3-11-14)

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Brad Keselowski wins the Kobalt 400 in Las Vegas! It took Dale Jr. to run out of gas, but he won – and I don’t think he’s giving his trophy to Jr. anytime soon. EDUCATE News breaks down race, talks to the three winners in NASCAR so far this season, reviews the first ever EDUCATE Book of the Month Club and predicts next week’s winner in Bristol!

“It’s like if the #406 met SNL.” – Said no one ever.

A fake interview with the real Vegas winner // Brad Keselowski

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ME: You doubled down in Vegas this weekend, how does that feel?

BK: That’s what we came here to do and it feels great. You know I just love to race and to be able to go out there and race Nationwide and Sprint all in one weekend is a dream come true. And to win them both, that’s icing on the cake.

ME: Are you going to give Jr. that trophy since he handed you the victory?

BK: (Laughs) Absolutely not! He’s got a few trophies of his own, like that Daytona 500 one so I think he’ll do fine without this one.

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ME: What did it feel like to pass your mentor on the last lap?

BK: You know I wouldn’t be here without that guy. So it’s definitely bittersweet. One of the great things about this sport is that at the end of the day we’re all friends. But when you are out there on the track – it’s every man for himself.

ME: And woman.

BK: And woman.

ME: Be honest.. You were crying in victory lane weren’t you?

BK: Man there was so much Miller Lite flying around it got me square in both eyes it stung. I couldn’t see nothing.

ME: So you weren’t just really emotional?

BK: I was pretty emotional but I was more pumped up than anything.

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ME: You didn’t make the Chase last year. You are all but guaranteed a spot with this win, that has to feel good right?

BK: It feels great you know. We definitely have a lot more work to do but it is a huge weight off our shoulders. We plan on winning a few more races between now and come Chase time but it gives us the opportunity to mess around with the car and do some things we might not normally do if we didn’t know we wouldn’t be racing for that championship.

ME: How many Miller Lite’s do you drink after a win like this?

BK: We plan on having quite a few. I don’t plan on getting any in my eye though they are going to go down nice and smooth.

ME: Like 24?

BK: Maybe not that many. We got Bristol in just a few days!

ME: Can you please just do me one solid and drive the white throwback Miller Lite car the rest of the year?

BK: I’ll see what I can do.

ME: That’s fair.

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Las Vegas This Weekend // Best & Worst Paint Schemes

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Kevin Harvick dominated in Phoenix. Maybe it’s because he was driving the “Freaky Fast” Jimmy Johns car on Sunday. Or maybe it’s just because he’s just really good and pretty much owns Phoenix. Or at least has his own parking spot. This week, Las Vegas. And what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – so I’ve heard. Does that make sense?

Either way, once again – we pick our favorite drivers like girls pick which team is going to win the NCAA tournament. Jersey colors. But because these guys and Danica don’t really wear jerseys, we pick em by their cars. And we get pretty amped up when the paint schemes come out. Because I like NASCAR. And I like Design. So when the two come together.. “Oh word?”

If you see a cooler/better looking/neater car on Sunday. And you don’t see it here. That could be because one of two things. 1) I may have bad taste. 2) Not every single paint scheme is made available before the race on Sunday. So there.

Best of the Best: Jeff Gordon in the #24 Axalta Chevrolet

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Finally! Jeff Gordon is listening to me! Almost! The Rainbow Warrior is looking a little more rainbow warrior-y. This car is slick. Blacked out with flames. Can’t go wrong. I mean I would never put flames on my car. But I have never really been able to pull off a good mustache and I have never been known as the Rainbow Warrior. Not yet at least. Keep up the great work Jeff. I wore my Kevin Harvick Budweiser shirt last week. This week, my Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports shirt. Unfortunately, it’s not rainbowed, but it will do.

Fourth Meal: David Ragan in the #34 Taco Bell Ford

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Maybe because I like Taco Bell. Maybe because I like the color purple. Who knows exactly why, but I really like the look of this car. The purple front end, the black back end with a little pink accent in the middle – nailed it. Maybe someone, Taco Bell maybe, NASCAR maybe, David Ragan? Probably not. Thought like a designer and decided, less is more. Because this car, looks fantastic. And only if it had a rainbow on it, would it have beat Jeffy Gordon. Better luck next time David.

Honorable Mention:

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  • I held out last week. But three weeks in a row.. I can’t take it anymore. I get it FedEx. You have all kinds of different services that are differentiated by colors. That doesn’t mean you have to make everyone one of you cars the same boring black with a sunburst of purple or green or orange or whatever it is. You’re creative. You did that whole arrow in the logo thing. C’mon. If this happens one more time, I’m writing a letter to you, and sending it via UPS. Get your shit together. Oh and good luck Denny!

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  • The 3 is back. And I’ve got to be honest I love it. I am a huge Dale fan. And after much back and forth, and fine with the 3 back in NASCAR – it honors Dale. But could we also honor him with a better paint scheme. Listen. I know, without sponsors you don’t have NASCAR. Fine. I get that. But if you are going to sponsor the 3 car. Make a freaking white logo and slap it on the hood of an all-black 3 car. That’s it. Final. All black 3 with a little bit a red and white. No more of this yellow shit. Black. Got it?

For the rest of the NASCAR paint schemes that have been released so far for the race on Sunday, click here!

I don’t like.. I don’t want him to.. Again? // Jimmie Johnson

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Quick.. Who’s your favorite NASCAR driver?

Jimmie Johnson? Really? How can you cheer for that guy? What about Smoke? Or Jeff Gordon? Or Kevin Harvick or one of the Busch brothers? What about Matt Kenseth or Denny Hamlin or I guess even Carl Edwards? Even Dale Jr. Join Jr. Nation man!

These days, you don’t hear to many people say I rooting for Jimmie Johnson to win. Again. I mean c’mon guy you’ve won 6 championships in the past 8 years. Let someone else get a crack at it. Anyone else!

I’ll be the first to admit that I do not root for Jimmie Johnson to win on Saturday night’s or Sunday afternoons. I’ll even admit that, sorry Mom and Dad, I curse when he does win. It’s boring. It’s old. It’s not fun, exciting, or fun and exciting. It’s jut getting old.

Today I listened to Tony Stewart on the Dan Patrick show. He was asked who he thinks means more to NASCAR.. Jimmie Johnson or Dale Jr.?

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Almost a trick question.

My first thought was Dale Jr.

Tony’s response was Jimmie Johnson. I questioned it for a second, and then Tony went on to explain..

We are watching history in the making. They both mean so much to NASCAR. Dale Jr. is the biggest name and the lifeblood of one of the greatest drivers of all-time.

But what Jimmie Johnson is doing is insane. And so important to the sport. Like The Steeler’s in the 70′s, Jordan and the Bull’s in the 90′s. Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. The Yankees of life and the Patriots as of late. Jimmie Johnson is a dynasty. And what he is doing is insane.

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You may not root for him this weekend in Las Vegas. I won’t. Or this entire year. I’m not. And you may not want to see him win ever again. But he will. Because whether you like it or not, that’s what fuels him. And when you look back, if you are lucky enough to have kids, grandkids, great grandkids and you are fortunate to get them to listen to you for a good 10 minutes and watch 50 laps of a NASCAR race.

You can tell them about Jimmie Johnson. And how unbelievably dominate he was way back when – in an era with so many talented and competitive drivers. (After all he’s not racing against the Fresno Go-Kart Club.)

When you didn’t want to root for him. And took it all for granted. How he put NASCAR on the map and his name with some of the all-time greats in all of sport.

Again. I ain’t rooting for the guy. But I like the guy. You have to like the guy. If you don’t you are more insane than this dent he is putting in NASCAR history.

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“Quote, Unquote” // NASCAR Power Rankings No. 2

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The second week in the 2014 NASCAR season is in the books. Mr. Kevin “Happy” Harvick won in the desert and is throwing his weight around in the Stewart-Haas Racing garage. He jumped a spot or two in the power rankings this week, and the one guy people may or may not have expected to be running so damn well at the start of the year isn’t going anywhere. Dale Jr. 1st and 2nd place. Ca’mon boys and girls. Jr. Nation is celebrating tonight!

This week – quotes from maybe the biggest come from behind Oscar winner of all-time, in honor of Matthew McConaghuey.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 1) – Dallas Buyers Club

Ron Woodroof: Am I fucking dreaming?

2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 4) – Dazed And Confused

Wooderson: Let me tell you what Melba Toast is packin’ right here, all right. We got 4:11 Positrac outback, 750 double pumper, Edelbrock intake, bored over 30, 11 to 1 pop-up pistons, turbo-jet 390 horsepower. We’re talkin’ some fuckin’ muscle.

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3. Brad Keselowski (LW: 6) — Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Connor Mead: I am begging you: don’t run away. You and Paul have something so rare, so powerful! Don’t chicken out now.

4. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 3) – Magic Mike

Dallas: Fact is, the law says you cannot touch!

Dallas: But I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house tonight…

5. Jeff Gordon (LW: 7) – Dazed And Confused

Wooderson: Let me tell you this, the older you get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.

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6. Kyle Busch (LW: 5) – Dallas Buyers Club

Ron Woodroof: These fuckers are coming at me, man, from all angles. I wanna file a restraining order.

7. Matt Kenseth (LW: 8) – How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Ben: Is that too soon to be seeing a therapist?

8. Denny Hamlin (LW: 2) – We Are Marshall

Jack Lengyel: One day, not today, not tomorrow, not this season, probably not next season either but one day, you and I are gonna wake up and suddenly we’re gonna be like every other team in every other sport where winning is everything and nothing else matters.

9.  Joey Logano (LW: NR) – How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Ben: That’s what I was, huh? I was your guinea pig, somebody you can test your theories on.

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10. Carl Edwards (LW: NR) – Tropic Thunder

Rick Peck: How’s the adoption thing going?

Tugg Speedman: Not good.

Rick Peck: At least you get to choose yours. I’m stuck with mine.

Honorable Mention

Clint Bowyer (LW: HM) – Fool’s Gold

Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan: Hey, boats sink! No one knows why!

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EDUCATE News No.2 // Harvick Dominates Phoenix #NASCAR (3-4-14)

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Kevin Harvick dominates Phoenix, for his 1st win at Stewart-Haas Racing. That’s about all that happened. But not quite. There was some bumping, some words exchanged, and a whole lot of Twitter activity. EDUCATE News breaks down Junior’s arrival to the Tweets, his spotter tweeting during the race and the hashtags that the losing drivers used – they shoulda used #FreakyFast too!

“It’s like if the #406 met SNL.” – Said no one ever.

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A fake interview with the real Phoenix winner // Kevin Harvick

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ME: So you didn’t waste much time to getting to the winning thing here with Stewart-Haas Racing..

KH: You know it didn’t take long to fit in here. There’s a bunch of great guys. Tony and I have been great pals for a long time now and it’s just a good fit. You know I don’t think I would have made the jump to SHR without feeling comfortable about it.

ME: And you didn’t just win, 224 out of 312 laps..

KH: Yeah we led a lot of laps. But the only lap that matters is at the end of the race. I’m not sure exactly why it is but I love coming here to Phoenix but we run well. I love running down on the low groove and passing on that apron it’s just fun. We had a lot of fun out there today and I couldn’t have done it without my guys and especially Rodney.

ME: It felt like you absolutely crushed every single restart, until the last one of the day when it mattered the most. What’s up with that?

KH: Yeah I don’t know what happened there. We had been doing really well and I think getting some help from Joey on a few. That’s something I’ve been working a lot on, trying to get right – you can win or lose a race all on that restart. Luckily that last one didn’t cost me too much I don’t think.

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ME: Have they given you a VIP parking spot for your camper at Phoenix yet, or a golden star on the sidewalk somewhere? Maybe all you can eat hot dogs..

KH: All you can eat nachos would be nice. They don’t have a camper parking spot for me yet but that would be nice, maybe that’s something I can work on for when I come back in the fall.

ME: Good call. Let’s work on that. You lapped Austin Dillon shortly after you took the lead. Did you think about putting him into the wall at all?

KH: It didn’t really cross my mind. You know what I said last year is in the past, I’ve talked to Richard about it and Ty and Austin and they’re good kids. I think it got blown out of proportion a little bit and I wouldn’t get back into them during a race I don’t think. Especially that #3 car. It’s pretty fancy looking isn’t?

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ME: Oh it sure is. I kept waiting for you to thank Richard Childress and the RCR team in victory lane. Did you almost slip at all or feel like thanking him anyway?

KH: It was close. I mean I said it 20 sometimes over 13 years, it was kind of a habit. I did a little practicing in front of the mirror though.

ME: So you feel good about staying and working for your buddy Tony?

KH: As long as he keeps his hands off my wife, I feel pretty good about working for Tony for quite a while.

ME: Would you rather have a Jimmy Johns bath or a Budweiser bath?

KH: Either one. As long as that #4 Chevy is in victory lane.

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Phoenix This Weekend // Best & Worst Paint Schemes

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Off a very exciting Daytona 500, we head to Phoenix where the season “officially” starts. And because we pick our favorite drivers like girls pick which team is going to win the NCAA tournament, we get pretty amped up when the paint schemes come out. (Oh girls pick their favorite jerseys, not “student-athlete’s” cars – those are all black Escalades, that would get redundant. But it seems as if every year some girl wins the NCAA Bracket Pool creating a shit storm, but we will save that for another day)

Best of the Best: Kyle Busch in the #18 Skittles Toyota

It doesn’t get much better than this boys and girls. This is one sharp hot rod. I keep asking, praying, begging for Jeff Gordon to bring back the “Rainbow Warrior” car. I think this is the closest I will ever get to seeing that happen again. I’m actually really rooting for Kyle Busch to make it to victory lane so he can make it rain Skittles and shout, “TASTE THE RAINBOW SUCKAS!” The only thing that would make this car better is if Marshawn Lynch’s mug appeared somewhere on the car. Preferably the hood.

Check out this AWESOME video and my new dream job, of the new Skittle’s wrap being put on Kyle’s car: Kyle Busch to follow the rainbow to Phoenix

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Not the worst but ehh..: Paul Menard in the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet

I like Paul. And being a Midwesterner, I like Menards. Great dog products. I also like to paint. This car isn’t terrible. But. Eh. It could be a lot better. C’mon Pittsburg Paints. I mean your logo is a rainbow, what about the freaking “Rainbow Warrior” car?!

I’m really sorry to worry about obsession with rainbows..

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Maybe a little worse, not terrible but still ehh..: Kyle Larson in the #42 Clorox Chevrolet

The only thing that would make this car worse is if Juan Pablo was still driving it.

Honorable Mention:

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  • Sticking with the Daytona winning National Guard paint scheme. America. Love it.

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  • Really enjoyed seeing the throwback Miller Lite Car. Guess I was wrong when said it’d be around for a while.

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  • I don’t think Jimmie’s Lowe’s car is ever going to make the best list. But it will never make the worst. Consistently a sharp looking car. Let’s jazz it up a little bit though eh 6-time?

Check out all released paint schemes here: Phoenix Paint Scheme Preview

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Stewart-Haas Racing.. wtf?

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Like quite a few people, I went out on a limb and said Stewart-Haas Racing was going to be unstoppably dominant in 2014. BOY WAS I WRONG.

No, no let’s be serious – I didn’t exactly go out on a limb, and it was just one race. One race that features 200 laps of 200mph 3 wide racing where it’s any man or woman’s (Richard Petty shaking his head) race.

But it wasn’t exactly a confident boost.

1200xDanica Patrick finished 40th after a crash with about 60 laps to go. Tony Stewart finished 35th after yet another engine problem. The “Ou41aw” Kurt Busch almost graced the top 20. Almost, finishing 21st. And Kevin Harvick led the pack placing lucky number 13, which could have been, should have been, a top 5ish but ended up getting collected in the wall on the final lap of the race.

So.. off the top of my head, if this were golf and adding all those up that would be.. Not good.

But again. One race. Yeah, Hendrick Motorsports went 1-4-5 and 31 (damn you Kasey Kahne really could have nailed this one) but you can’t yeah quite compare SHR to Mr. Hendrick. Or even Coach Gibbs. Unfortunately.

We knew those two teams, Hendrick and Gibbs would be there. Dominating. We are hoping, Stewart-Haas could be there as well.

Let’s not over react too much. But let’s pick it up a little bit boys and girls. We knew we would be talking A LOT about one of the most interesting teams in all of NASCAR. Just didn’t think it would be for ALL the wrong reasons.

Luckily, Daytona can be a fluke – just don’t tell Dale Jr. that. Or Tony Stewart. And luckily we are off to Phoenix this weekend where the #4 Budweiser Chevy from SHR has won 2 of the last 3 races there. So let’s don’t let us down again boys! And girls! Sorry King!

There’s still time to be that dominant team we all knew you could be! Please!

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“Quote, UnQuote” // NASCAR Power Rankings No. 1

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The first week in the 2014 NASCAR season is in the books. Mr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won The Great American Race and is poised to win it all this year. Right? That’s how that works isn’t it? Well he isn’t really guaranteed a Championship, but he does have a spot in the Chase, so that’s a good start. And although the super speedways are every man and woman’s race, we still have to come up with a power rankings. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT AMERICA DOES. And because we like to go against the grain, and love movies – we thought we’d combine the two.

This week – quotes from some of the greatest comedies of all-time, in honor of Harold Ramis.

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1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Groundhog Day

Phil: I’m a god.

Rita: You’re God?

Phil: I’m a god. I’m not the God… I don’t think.

2. Denny Hamlin – Groundhog Day

Phil: I’m betting he’s going to swerve first.

3. Jimmie Johnson — Ghostbusters

Dr Ray Stantz: I think we’d better split up.

Dr. Egon Spengler: Good idea.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Yeah… we can do more damage that way.

4. Kevin Harvick – Animal HouseAnimal-House_a3933c4a_0

D-Day: We have an old saying in Delta House: don’t get mad, get even.

5. Kyle Busch – Caddyshack

Richard Richards: Better come in till this blows over.

Bishop: What do you think, fella?

Carl Spackler: I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s gonna come down for quite awhile.

Bishop: You’re right. Anyway, the Good Lord would never disrupt the best game of my life.

6. Brad Keselowski – Groundhog Daygroundhog-day-driving

Phil: It’s the same thing your whole life: “Clean up your room. Stand up straight. Pick up your feet. Take it like a man. Be nice to your sister. Don’t mix beer and wine, ever.” Oh yeah: “Don’t drive on the railroad track.”

7. Jeff Gordon – Caddyshack

Ty Webb: I’m going to give you a little advice. There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.

8. Matt Kenseth – Caddyshack

Dr. Beeper: I thought you’d be the man to beat this year.

Ty Webb: I guess you’ll just have to keep beating yourself.

9. Kurt Busch – Ghostbusters

Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m gonna take back some of the things I said about you, Egon.

10. Paul Menard – CaddyshackMurray-Caddy-Shack-groundhog

Carl Spackler: Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!

Honorable Mention

Austin Dillon and Clint Bowyer – Animal House

Flounder: I can’t believe I threw up in front of Dean Wormer.

Boon: Face it, Kent. You threw up “on” Dean Wormer.

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EDUCATE News // Dale Jr. Wins The Daytona 500 #NASCAR (2-25-14)

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Dale Earnhardt Junior wins the 2014 Daytona 500. But not after Jimmie Johnson did, again – according to one news outlet. EDUCATE News breaks down The Great American race from Kyle Busch’s airgun penalty, Delana Harvick’s tweet, Tony Stewart’s Engine problems and a possible conspiracy theory in NASCAR!

“It’s like if the #406 met SNL.” – Said no one ever.

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A Fake Interview with the REAL Daytona 500 Winner // Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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ME: You won the Daytona 500..

JR: We did.

ME: Are you heading to Disney World?

JR: Naw I don’t think that’s how it works. I think that’s just for the Super Bowl. I’ll probably head back home for a day, hang out with a few friends and it’s on to the next one.

ME: No offense, but you don’t win many races. But you come out here and win the first one of the year? And it’s the Daytona 500? What’s up with that?

DaleJrWinJR: Yeah I guess it’s been a while huh? I love racing here. You know last year me and Steve really starting clicking, and we finished the year strong and we kind of just picked up where we left off. We had a great National Guard car tonight, Steve made some great moves, I had some help from the other Hendrick guys in Jimmie and Jeff up front and we, you know we were feeling pretty good about our chances and we were in the right place at the right time to win it.

ME: Yeah but you weren’t just in the right place at the right time, you kind of dominated all night..

JR: It’s really hard to dominate in this sport. You need a lot of luck. It was a good day that’s for sure.

ME: What do you say to Steve Letarte your Crew Chief when he tells you that you have what appears to be a garbage bag on your grille with 3 laps to go?

JR: I wasn’t too worried, but I was really trying hard not to wreck the Pace Car. You know a few years ago we had a Jet Dryer explode we didn’t need another delay with me spinning out the Pace Car with 3 laps to go. But we really weren’t to worried. I tried to get it off, but it obviously worked out you know.

ME: So you’ve got a spot in the chase. What are the chances you head on down to Cabo for a few months, hang out, get some R&R and come back in November to win it all?

nscs_dale_earnhardtjr.png.mainJR: (laughs) I don’t think that’s going to happen. You know in this sport especially, you can’t bank on anything. I have a spot in the Chase, but there’s a lot of racing left. A lot of time to figure out cars, tracks and keep working with Steve to get things right, there’s a lot of testing to do.

ME: What was it like seeing the #3 car out there, for at least most of the race?

JR: You know I didn’t really pay much attention to it. It was neat seeing the #3 out there again but I’ve got a few other things on my plate during the race than to be out there worried about what else is going on.

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ME: Is Jimmie Johnson kind of a jerk?

JR:  Jimmie is the best. He’s one of the nicest guys in the garage. We had a pretty fun time goofing with each other this week so that’s always fun.

ME: What’d he say to you when he came up to congratulate you after the race?

JR: He just congratulated me, and said awesome job and that I deserved it.

ME: I saw you said something back, you didn’t just rub it in his face just this once?

JR: (laughs) No I probably should of though right? Jimmie has a few of these trophies, and a few of the other ones that we are trying to get so I’ll just kind of let Jimmie go about until I get a few more wins under my belt.

ME: When you lose. We can tell it really bums you out. You can see it on your face. But you won last night, we could tell you were genuinely pumped up about it. Where’d that come from?

JR: Yeah I think the reason is just because I know you can’t take these things for granted. I beat myself up a lot and I hate letting my team down. My guys, especially Steve. We’ve got an amazing team, and crew and I just want to win for these guys. It’s not fun knowing you have the best car out there or running well but things just happen and you can’t perform. It’s a lot of fun to win and you’ve just got to celebrate all of those like it might be your last.

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Race for the Chase: Jimmie Johnson // 1 Day ’til Daytona

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Jimmie Johnson — #48

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 6
  • Last Year Chase Result: Champion
  • Jimmie’s 2013 In A NutshellMajor League (1989)

Harry Doyle: Just a reminder, fans, about Die-Hard Night coming up here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.

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So that quote about Jimmie’s 2013 season is there for a few reasons.

  1. It involves two of the best movies ever. Major League and Die Hard. But just the first Major League and the first Die Hard. Because let’s be honest the 2nd of both of those movies were unstoppably horrendous.
  2. Harry Doyle aka Bob Uecker is one of the only good things about baseball.
  3. There’s really absolutely positively no reason I can even try to think of that Jimmie Johnson will not win the Chase in 2014. Unless that whole Richard Petty, Danica will only win if all the drivers stay home thing comes to fruition. So I’m not really going to waste my time, and especially your time.

The main reason I picked that quote though was because how amazing would it be to hear Mike Joy say during the middle of a race halfway through the season when it looks like Jimmie has all but won his freaking 7th career championship..

Just a reminder, fans, about Need for Speed night coming up here at the track. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time  Jimmie Johnson didn’t have a championship.

Why Jimmie Johnson will win the chase in 2014:

Let’s be honest. Jimmie Johnson is the greatest driver of this generation. Arguably, of all-time. (That’s for another day). I’m not too terribly excited about it either folks. I, like you, are tired of Jimmie Johnson winning. Sick and tired of it. Jeff Gordon. Tony Stewart. Kevin Harvick. A lot of drivers have got to be kicking themselves by the amount of Championships this guy has cost them. It’s annoying. And what’s worse? The man with the plan Chad Knaus is kind of a jerk. That’s putting it nicely. He pushes the rules to the limit. He sometimes cheats. He sometimes gets away with. He sometimes doesn’t. But he’s a competitor, and a genius for that matter. Maybe if Chad was with a driver, that driver would be racking up Championships like they were parking tickets. Oh and have you heard that Jimmie is an athlete. He runs 15 miles a day like it’s a walk in the park. He did the half marathon just last weekend. I know Donavan McNabb, we’re sick of it too. And maybe the worst part about Jimmie? He’s a nice freaking guy. He doesn’t (often) call out drivers. He doesn’t make to big of a fuss when he gets put into the wall. He just goes out there and does his job. And you know what?

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This is EXACTLY why Jimmie is going to win again! He just goes out there, does his job, and gets shit done. He’s going to win because you don’t want him too. Everyone great athlete, (Yeah I said it Donavan) has to come up with new ways to motivate themselves. To keep the fire burning. And you know that’s exactly what Jimmie is doing with all of us who is sick and bloody tired of seeing him win. He’ll use that. Quietly. But he’ll use it. And yeah, we aren’t sure if Jimmie is even the most talented driver in NASCAR. But he knows something we don’t. And something almost 50 other guys, drivers, teams don’t know either. Like it or not folks, Jimmie will win again. And probably again. And again. And whether you want to crown him the best driver of all-time, or just his era. Don’t take it for granted. Because 15 years from now, we will all look back and say..

Need for Speed night?

No sorry, that’s not it. We will look back and say..

Holy shit. Remember that Jimmie Johnson guy? His run was one of the most amazing events in all of sports. Holy shit was he good.

That’s why, like it or not, Jimmie Johnson will be the last man standing in Miami.

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Race for the Chase: Matt Kenseth // 2 Days ’til Daytona

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Matt Kenseth — #20

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing / Toyota
  • Wins In 2013: 7
  • Last Year Chase Result: 2nd
  • Matt’s 2013 In A Nutshell: The Replacements (2000)

Jimmy McGinty: You know what separates the winners from the losers?

Shane Falco: The score?

Jimmy McGinty: No, getting back on the horse after getting kicked in the teeth.

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That pit stop in Phoenix was a kick to the teeth. Matt won 7 races last year. That’s one more than your 2013 Champion and 6-time Chase winner Jimmie Johnson had last year. Wait what? I looked around for this quote for a while, I swear it was in a movie. If not, it should have been. But when Matt was on. He was really on. And when he wasn’t on. He really sucked.

BONUS QUOTE!!!: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Ricky Bobby: If you ain’t first, you’re last.

Matt. You weren’t suppose to take Ricky seriously. That was a comedy movie! Basically Matt’s year looked like a really bad stock. Up and down up and down up and down up and down. That’s how stocks work right? Not sure. In 2013 if Matt wasn’t first. He was last. What happened to being consistent Matt?

Why Matt Kenseth will win the chase in 2014:

I believe that like Shane Falco, Matt Kenseth will be able to get back on the horse after a what almost felt like a very dominating regular season in 2013. Did you catch those duels last night? Joe Gibbs racing is looking pretty damn sharp heading into this season. They’ve always looked sharp. And Matt Kenseth has been virtually unstoppable since he’s arrived. The best part about Matt? You don’t hear from him much. He’s not going to get in a Twitter war or do a backflip off his car after a win or probably not punch a driver after the race. Don’t test him though. He goes out there and gets it done. That’s the reason why you knew about all his dominant wins last year, and may not of heard from him when he finished in 30th position. Which he did last year. A few times. 3 to be exact. And one 40th place finish. With a few handfuls of 20th or higher place finishes. Ouch. I mean that’s the reason why the guy didn’t win the whole shebang in 2013! Of course, accidents happen. Blown engines happen. Unfortunately, bad pit stops happen. But don’t expect to see much of that this year. There will be no more incidents in the pits like in Phoenix last year. You better believe those guys have been absolutely working harder and training harder than ever to get this guy that Chase trophy that NASCAR tried to make sure he wouldn’t get back after they changed the Chase rules, one of the first times, after his run in 2003. You know Matt is going to continue to win like he did last year. Shoot look at that Duel just last night. With more top 10′s and fewer mishaps putting him towards the back of the pack. How in the hell won’t this guy win in 2014?

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Race for the Chase: Kevin Harvick // 3 Days ’til Daytona

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Kevin Harvick — #4

  • Team: Stewart Haas Racing / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 4
  • Last Year Chase Result: 3rd
  • Kevin’s 2013 In A NutshellThe Pride of the Yankees (1942)

Lou Gehrig: Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

Why Kevin Harvick will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_kevin_harvick_budweiser.png.main

New team. New crew chief. No longer the top dog on his team. New crew chief. One of his best friend is his boss. Short temper. That about sums it up.

Why Kevin Harvick will win the chase in 2014:

Like Lou – no Kevin doesn’t have an extremely rare disease that will soon be named after him. Like Lou, Kevin will be considering himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth when he rolls off the line at Daytona. Why’s that? He’s no longer at RCR. He’s racing for his good pal Tony Stewart. I don’t think Kevin has any hatred towards Richard Childress, but it was pretty obviously that things weren’t working out there. Don’t get me wrong, things on the track were working out great. Kevin has finished 3rd in the Chase 3 times in the past 4 years. He had times was the best driver on the track. And at other times one of the biggest hot heads on the track. So things we working out at RCR for Kevin, but also were extremely irritating as seen by that awkward end of the year lecture he gave the bosses grand children. Now things are starting out fresh. And you know what? I think everyone, even in the Stewart Haas garage – are scared shitless. Harv is one of a few drivers who found a new home in 2014, but like most drivers, he wasn’t in the need of a new ride. A better team. A better crew chief. But he got one. He got all of the above. And who the hell knows what is going to happen! This is as good of a year as any for Happy to win it all. He’s been close in the past. In the very recent past. Now that he will indeed finally be Happy, the possibilities are endless the #29 — er, the #4 car. It’s going to take me a while to get use to seeing that. And now I have to buy a new hat. Damnit. Least he’s still got the Budweiser ride! And isn’t it going to look so pretty in Miami with that Chase trophy on top of it?

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Race for the Chase: Kyle Busch // 4 Days ’til Daytona

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Kyle Busch — #18

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing / Toyota
  • Wins In 2013: 4
  • Last Year Chase Result: 4th
  • Kyle’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Caddyshack (1980)

Carl Spackler: So we finish the 18th and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?’ And he says, ‘Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Why Kyle Busch will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_kyle_busch.png.main

I’m not really sure what that quote has to do with Kyle’s last season. But it’s a great quote. Maybe one of my all-time favorite scenes in a movie. Oh. Kyle’s number is 18 and the Lama is talking about the 18th hole. Synchronicity. Oh maybe the Lama is Joe Gibbs, and Kyle, like Carl, is just asking for something, you know, for the effort? Eh. Oh so basically when the Lama tells Bill Murray that there will be no money (Championships), but when he dies (retires) he will receive total consciousness (relief knowing that he is/was one of the better most exciting drivers of his era). Nailed it.

Why Kyle Busch will win the chase in 2014:

Kyle Busch is due. Would you believe that Kyle has been around for almost 10 years now and hasn’t once finished a year ranking higher than 4th? Like I said, he is due. With 28 career Sprint Cup victories, 24 of those have come in the last 6 years. He had his best year ever last year with 4 wins, 16 top fives and 22 top tens. He is due. He is on the right track path. The reason Busch the younger will win this year is due to the fact that he (hopefully) has finally gotten his attitude in check. He’s really come a long way in the past few years, I mean between both him and his brother, you could have one hell of an anger management class. I think Kurt has settled down. And I think little brother Kyle sees that. And knows that he can’t be the wild boy, bully, loose cannon, reckless driver of the past and win a Championship. It just doesn’t happen unless your name is Dale Earnhardt. And it’s not. I’ve said it before, and maybe about a few other drivers, but Kyle included – he may be the most talented drivers on the track. The amount of times this guy saves the car from going into the wall, or Kevin Harvick or just getting loose and spinning out is amazing. He can drive the hell out of the car. And if he decides to keep it under control. He is going to get himself that long overdue Championship and we are going to see a hell of a lot of crazy good donuts in Miami.

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Race for the Chase: Dale Earnhardt Jr. // 5 Days til Daytona

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. — #88

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 0
  • Last Year Chase Result: 5th
  • Dale’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Slap Shot (1977)

    McGrath: Good crowd out there tonight, boys, let’s really try to win this one.

Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_dale_earnhardtjr.png.main

Did you hear the 3 is back? Now it might not make much of a difference, but you can’t tell me that seeing the black 3 car pass you by, bump you, give you a quick little wave during a race won’t mess with your head just a little bit if your Dale Jr.? Just a little bit. I mean I’m just going to go with that, since it would be really quick and easy just to say.. Well he’s won one race since 2008. Which I will add to this argument. But seriously, the 3 is back too you guys? Oh and Dale has only won one race since 2008 – how the hell is he going to win the entire Chase? I mean I guess the good news is that him and Steve Letarte are really starting to find their groove. Wait. What’s that? Steve Letarte is leaving the garage to become an analyst after this year? Well that’s good. I’m sure that will help Dale this year.. Anyway.

Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win the chase in 2014:

According to my older cousin, who I don’t think has ever lied to me, our grandparent’s our turning 88 years old this year – so it’s the 88′s year to win it. Sounds good to me. And I wouldn’t put it past him. I mean holy shit NASCAR Jesus has to win sooner or later right? I’m going with sooner. Dale really had one heck of a year last year for not winning a single race. With 22 races inside the top 10 last year, 8 of those being when he most needed them, the Chase. Of those 8 races, freaking 5 of them were top 5 finishes, and 3 were big nasty, terrible 2nd place finishes. There’s nothing better/worse than seeing Dale finish 2nd. Mainly because you wanted him to win so bad. And secondly because he gets so emotional. That’s the better part. You can see it, during those interviews, the passion and intensity. Dale wants to win. He needs to win. He needs it for himself more than you want it. Those interviews are great, because you see real life passion. You see a grown ass man almost think he is on the brink of tears. Dale doesn’t like being NASCAR Jesus and not winning. Sure the popularity and money is great. But this guy knows that it means nothing without a Championship. He can’t be satisfied. He won’t be satisfied. No more what ifs, and woulda/coulda/shouldas. No more 2nd place interviews and no more living in Dad’s shadow. Seeing that 3 car back out there, is only going to motivate him more. It’s the year of 88′s!

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Race for the Chase: Tony Stewart // 6 Days ’til Daytona

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Tony Stewart — #14

  • Team: Stewart Haas Racing / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 1
  • Last Year Chase Result: N/A* — Broken Leg
  • Tony’s 2013 In A NutshellDays of Thunder (1990)

Harry Hogge: He didn’t slam into you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you. He rubbed you. And rubbin’, son, is racin’.

Why Tony Stewart will not win the Chase in 2014:nscs_tony_stewart.png.main

Well the start to his season didn’t go as planned. After a year off due to a new Rascal sponsor.. Err – I mean a broken leg in Iowa. Sorry. Tony didn’t come out of the gates quite as he expected. That can’t feel good after missing the 2nd half of the season last year. Sitting around wishing, waiting, excited to get out back on the track and then going out and blowing a damn engine. And on top of that. Smoke is an owner. Not just the driver. When you are the driver, you probably don’t worry as much about a blown engine. But when you’re the owner. I’m sure you have a few phone calls to make right? I mean shoot. And it’s not like Smoke is the owner of just any team. He is the owner of what could be either most exciting team in all of NASCAR, or the most destructive team. That’s a lot of pressure Smoke. And the doctor’s don’t want you putting quite that much pressure on that leg just yet. (See what I did there?)

Why Tony Stewart will win the Chase in 2014:

Smoke said it himself. Blowing an the day of a race is one thing. But blowing your engine a week before during qualifying? Why would he worry about that? It’s a pretty good point. The main reason you absolutely have to include Smoke into the list of odds on favorites to win it all in 2014 – he is has to be one of the most competitive drivers in the sport. There’s no way he took kindly to watching the year go on without him, watching other drivers jump in his #14 Bass Pro Chevrolet and fail to even sniff a checkered flag. Smoke is going to come out like a bat out of hell, faster and more hungry than ever. Like Robert Duvall told Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, “rubbin’, son, is racin’.” And who knows that better than Smoke? The main reason I believe Smoke is going to take it home this year is the fact that he is indeed the owner of his race team. His very talented race team. He cant be the hot head of past. Yes it won’t be as fun. But Smoke is not getting any younger, and the fact of the matter is – the crash in Iowa last year had to remind him that at any moment his career could be over. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it will slow him down at all. It won’t Ricky Bobby scare him at all to get back in the car. And it sure won’t intimidate him when he’s chasing down Jimmie, or Kevin, or Kyle – whomever for the win. Uncle Tony has 3 championships under his belt. It sure would make him happy to catch up to Jeff Gordon. And you better believe he is sick and tired of hearing about ol’ 6 time. Bump. Nudge. Rub. Slam. Whatever it is, I’d had one eye on the road and the other in the rearview mirror looking for this guy once the green flag drops in Daytona.

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Race for the Chase: Jeff Gordon // 7 Days ’til Daytona

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Jeff Gordon — #24

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 1
  • Last Year Chase Result: 6th
  • Jeff’s 2013 In A Nutshell: The Best of Times (1986)

    Jack Dundee: You better watch it, Dr. Death. I’m pretty damn fast for a Caucasian.

Why Jeff Gordon will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_jeff_gordon.png.main

Jeff Gordon is 42 years old. Jeff Gordon is also the.. 4th wheel? (Pun Intended) 4th wheel on Hendricks Motorsports behind possibly the most talented youngan in NASCAR, the most popular driver in NASCAR, and arguably the greatest driver in all of NASCAR’s history. There’s no way Jeff can be getting the love, money, equipment, money and love that a Championship driver needs and deserves. Why do you think he had so many car “malfunctions” towards the end of the year last year? Once things started getting going, they magically came to a screeching halt. Weird. I’m not saying, but I’m basically saying.. the 1900′s are over Jeff. JUST BRING BACK THE RAINBOW WARRIORS CAR FOR ONE MORE RUN.

Why Jeff Gordon will win the chase in 2014:

I’ve been pretty rough on Jeffy my entire life. My brother loved him when were were growing up, so naturally, I despised him. A few years back we “accidentally” gave my Dad the wrong size Jeff Gordon shirt. It just so happened that it fit me like a glove. Now I wear my Jeff Gordon shirt what could be almost every other day but I will call it at least twice a week. I don’t know what the point of that story is, but it filled a few lines. I like Jeff now. I want to see him win. How could you not like this guy? Did you see the great Pepsi Max commercial? Listen, Jeff is old. We know that. But you know who else was old and won a Championship? Mr. Bobby Allison when he was 45. There’s absolutely still time for Jeff to win his 5th and final Championship! He said it this past week that he is ready for retirement – but not until he wins that 5th Championship. Like any other driver in NASCAR, he is a competitive guy, and there is no way it doesn’t just piss him right off seeing  Jimmie Johnson win Championship after Championship. Jeff still has it. I don’t think he ever lost it? He’s one of the greatest drivers of all-time. And I don’t think old age, new punk drivers or anyone else is going to keep him from winning one last Championship before he hangs it up.

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Race for the Chase: Clint Bowyer // 8 Days ’til Daytona

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Clint Bowyer — #15

  • Team: Michael Waltrip Racing / Toyota
  • Wins In 2013: 0
  • Last Year Chase Result: 7th
  • Clint’s 2013 In A NutshellOn The Waterfront (1954)

Terry: You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let’s face it. It was you, Charley.

Why Clint Bowyer will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_clint_bowyer.png.main

Now let’s face it Terry. Clint Bowyer is not a bum. Until “Spingate” at Richmond last year, Clint was a prime wild card contender to win the whole kitten caboodle. Until “Spingate.” That’s when the wheels came off for Michael Waltrip Racing and the 5 Hour Energy Team. Clint is such a good guy, he always says what is on his mind and he doesn’t give a damn what you think. Until “Spingate.” The question is, how will he and MWR handle this in 2014?

Why Clint Bowyer will win the chase in 2014:

Clint Bowyer got married this offseason. And Clint Bowyer is one hell of a talented driver. And Clint Bowyer is #1.. Well his number is 15 but he is the king cheese at MWR. And Clint Bowyer is tired of people, especially people like you and me talking about “Spingate.” It’s over and done with. And you better believe Clint shot enough ducks, deer and or pheasants and bears or whatever he hunts and kills these days – to get all his stress and anger out this offseason. You know, it’s almost a shame Clint wasn’t on Team Hendricks or Stewart-Hass, Joe Gibbs these days. Because I know I say this about every driver, but Clint could be the best driver in all of NASCAR. But he’s driving for MWR, which is a hell of a team. And he’s going to prove to each and every damn one of us that he isn’t a bum. And it really was, the other guy.

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Race for the Chase: Joey Logano // 9 Days ’til Daytona

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Joey Logano — #22

  • Team: Team Penske / Ford
  • Wins In 2013: 1
  • Last Year Chase Result: 8th
  • Joey’s 2013 In A NutshellStep Brothers (2008)

Brennan Huff: Listen, I know that we started out as foe. But after that courageous act that you showed me against the one they call Derek, maybe someday we could become friends. Friends who ride majestic, translucent steeds, shooting flaming arrows across the bridge of Hemdale.

Why Joey Logano will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_joey_logano.png.main

Joey Logano doesn’t have many friends out there on the racetrack. And that quote from Step Brothers? That was actually written by Joey Logano. It was a speech he prepared to Tony Stewart. He was going to give it to him last year, but then Tony broke his leg and that was that. Joey had a nice little run and even made a little, very little, noise in the Chase. They say Smoke may have learned a few things, settled down a bit and is taking less risks due to the fact that he owns a team and sin’t getting any younger. I’m pretty sure one of Smoke’s main goals this year is to make Joey Logano’s life hell.

Why Joey Logano will win the chase in 2014:

Joey didn’t actually write that speech for Tony. But he really should consider trying it out on a few drivers – Tony, Denny, Kevin Harvick to name a few. Poor Joey. He gets a lot of slack. Undeserved slack. But he still gets it. Listen. I don’t care who you are, Joey Logano. Austin Dillon. Dale Earnhardt Junior. You can have parents/grandparents/The Intimidator with deep pockets or ties to NASCAR that are going to open doors for you a lot sooner than they should have been opened. But at the end of the day, you still have to go out and drive the hell out of the car. And Joey can do just that. Joey Logano is young. What were you doing when you were 23? He’s been around a lot, he’s matured (I think), he’s gotten better – 11 top fives and 19 top tens just last year. With the new Chase format, you hold on long enough, and pop off a few wins at the right time, you’ll be getting a Shell Pennzoil bath in Miami youngan.

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Sprint Unlimited This Weekend // Best&Worst Paint Schemes

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The NASCAR season officially/unofficially starts this weekend. The Sprint Unlimited Race at Daytona is Saturday night. 75 laps. 187.5 miles. Ca’mon. And because we pick our favorite drivers like girls pick which team is going to win the NCAA tournament, we get pretty amped up when the paint schemes come out. (Oh girls pick their favorite jerseys, not “student-athlete’s” cars – those are all black Mercedes’, that would get redundant. But it seems as if every year some girl wins the NCAA Bracket Pool creating a shit storm, but we will save that for another day)

Best of the Best: Dale Jr. in the #88 National Guard Chevrolet

Just America. People who don’t watch much NASCAR always wonder, why Dale Jr.? Why is he so popular? He doesn’t win races does he? Well.. He doesn’t win much. But when you stick him in an American car like this one, you really think people aren’t going to root for him? Plus, if you aren’t going to win you might as well look good doing it.

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2nd Best: Brad Keselowski in the #2 Miller Lite Ford

Have you ever drank Miller Lite? Gross I know right. But.. I may start drinking Miller Lite again just because of the old school can/paint scheme they are using for I don’t know how long. Hopefully all year. Now Brad’s car is all Rusty Wallace retro and it sure does look sharp. Who knows it may even pick Brad up a few new Twitter followers.

Not the worst but ehh..: Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Express ToyotaScreen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.13.42 AM

Maybe because it’s a Toyota. It’s probably because it’s Denny Hamlin. Definitely because I am a UPS guy. (Is anyone a UPS guy?) But Denny’s #11 brings me back to Jeff Gordon’s “Rainbow Warrior” car. A little.. I’m not sure the politically correct term for, fruity, but it’s just not doing it for me. This is 2014 guy. I know we aren’y flying around in cars yet. But you can paint yours a little more modern.

Check out all released paint schemes here: Paint Scheme Preview: Sprint Unlimited

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Race for the Chase: Greg Biffle // 10 Days ’til Daytona

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Greg Biffle — #16

  • Team: Roush Fenway Racing / Ford
  • Wins In 2013: 1
  • Last Year Chase Result: 9th
  • Brad’s 2013 In A Nutshell: The Karate Kid (1984)

Kreese: Sweep the leg

Why Greg Biffle will not win the Chase in 2014: nscs_greg_biffle.png.main

Who’s this guy? A lot of people don’t realize it, but the Biff is quietly one of the best drivers in the sport. He just goes about racing, doing what he needs to do and just gets it done. But that doesn’t really cut it. It didn’t cut it when the Chase was about consistency, and it’s not gonna cut it now that the Chase is all about the knockout punch. The Biff always runs well, and is usually in it down to the wire. But he just doesn’t sweep the leg when he needs to. Oh yeah, and he still drives a Ford. Yuck.

Why Greg Biffle will win the Chase in 2014: 

Greg Biffle needs to shake things up. And there’s only one of two ways to go about doing that. The first option, which most drivers would not suggest, is lose. The second option, just go out and freaking win. Unlike a few of NASCAR’s top drivers, Biffle has the exact same team he had last year. And the year before that. And the previous year. While these other guys are trying to figure things out – the Biff can be in cruise control. All he has to do is be consistent, consistent, consistent and then sweep the leg come Chase time. He’s got it in him. Just ask Boris Said.

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Race for the Chase: Kasey Kahne // 11 Days ’til Daytona

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Kasey Kahne — #5

  • Team: Hendrick Motorsports / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 2
  • Last Year Chase Result: 12th
  • Kasey’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Chariots of Fire (1981)

Eric Liddell: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.

Why Kasey Kahne will not win the Chase in 2014: nscs_kasey_kahne.png.main

Kasey Kahne just might be the most talented driver in all of NASCAR. I like to say might be because I really don’t have any stats to back that up or any fancy scientific proof. But the kid is good alright. But he’s kind of a pussy. Yeah, yeah we know – you don’t have to spin out every driver that passes you for a win with one lap to go. But you should. And you don’t have to get out of your race after a dust up with an opposing driver and throw your helmet at his car or punch him in the jaw. But you should. The beef with Kasey ever since he was too uncomfortable to continue to be the Budweiser poster boy is that he’s too soft. In a physical sport where the rules are changing every single day to either benefit the drivers or benefit the fans, (what’s today?) you do need some toughness and a bit a of a mean streak in a driver.

Why Kasey Kahne will win the Chase in 2014: 

Kasey Kahne just might be the most talented driver in all of NASCAR. He just might be is on the most talented and fastest and bestest team in NASCAR. He should be taking notes on every step, left turn, bathroom break and sneeze Jimmie Johnson makes. He should be tired of being called the pretty boy of NASCAR. Kasey is a Seattle Seahawks fan. And if he is going to watch his hometown team beat the hell out of most every team they played including the AFC Champion Broncos and he is going to be pumped up to go out there race after race and make his presence felt.. Then shit there’s not much else that can be done. Like the quote from “Chariots of Fire,” God made Kasey Kahne fast. Really fast. And all these other drivers better hope that he doesn’t actually become mean as well. Because as soon as the fire gets lit under his belly – it’s game over.

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Listen: OhKs #25 // Hitler is kind of a dick (2-10-14)

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The Oh’s Knows Bros sit down to talk first and foremost, if they each have ever messed around and gotten a triple double. After quickly acknowledging that no, it has not ever happened – if you don’t count NBA Live 2005, they talk about a very impressive win from the Iowa Hawkeyes this past Saturday over the Michigan Wolverines. The guys also talk about going to, and seeing the LEGO Movie, and how amazing it was. This leads into a discussion about how Pixar and Disney movies are definitely made for parents, and not really kids. Pixar somehow leads into talking about Hitler’s art as a child, and how he was kind of a dick. Wrapping things up the guys talk about Parks and Recreation, and compare Hendricks Motorsports to Stewart Haas Racing, talking just a little bit of NASCAR as they prepare for the Daytona 500 in 12 days!

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Race for the Chase: Kurt Busch // 12 Days ’til Daytona

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Kurt Busch — #41

  • Team: Stewart Haas Racing / Chevy
  • Wins In 2013: 0
  • Last Year Chase Result: 10th
  • Kurt’s 2013 In A Nutshell: The Natural (1984)

Pop Fisher: Well you’re better than any player I ever had. And you’re the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.

Why Kurt Busch will not win the Chase in 2014: nscs_kurt_busch.png.main

First of all – Kurt Busch is a hot head, and may not even be the best Busch brother in NASCAR. Ever since he won the Chase in 2004, he’s been out of control. Whether it is wrecking other drivers (Jimmie Johnson), or yelling at/threatening T.V. analysts (ESPN), he’s been completely out of control. He hasn’t really found a home at all, things didn’t go completely as expected for him at Furniture Row Racing and now you think adding him into the loose cannons that are Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick? (Did someone say Bash Brothers?) Plus Danica Patrick who gets all the attention for all the wrong reasons? Let’s set the over/under at 6.5 team meetings once the season starts before Kurt goes on a tirade.

Why Kurt Busch will win the Chase in 2014: 

Did you read the quote from “The Natural” above? Let me type it out one more time..

Well you’re better than any player I ever had. And you’re the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.” 

I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure that is the exact sales pitch Tony Stewart gave Kurt Busch to get him to come to Stewart Haas. Yes. Kurt may not be the best Busch brother on the track every Sunday. But Kyle Busch is freaking really freaking good you know? It wouldn’t be terrible to be second to him. Kurt took a fairly irrelevant team in Furniture Row to.. well relevant. can you imagine if you would give Kurt some legit equipment? The same legit equipment they use over at Hendricks? Well this is the year. It’s coming up on the 10th anniversary of Kurt’s Championship run. And he’s more than tired of coming in second to his little brother. He’s been a more well mannered the past year, and he’s on what may be the most dominant racing team of the coming year. This guy is back, and better than ever.

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Race for the Chase: Carl Edwards // 13 Days ’til Daytona

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Carl Edwards — #99

  • Team: Roush Fenway Racing / Ford
  • Wins In 2013: 2
  • Last Year Chase Result: 13th
  • Carl’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Super Troopers (1981)

Police Chief Grady: Desperation is a stinky cologne.

Why Carl Edwards will not win the Chase in 2014: nscs_carl_edwards.png.main

Edwards has been in a bit of a tailspin over the past two years. Although this past year he did make the Chase, he still finished in dead last. A sign that whatever was wrong with him the year prior, has not changed. The king of backflips hasn’t done much differently over the offseason and the more time he spends in the booth attempting to be a decent announcer (he’s not), the worse he gets on the track. So maybe Edwards will make the chase this year and finish one place higher than last year (probably not).  Or he could just end up being a full time announcer (let’s hope not).

Why Carl Edwards will win the Chase in 2014: 

When he’s in a groove, he’s tough to beat.  In ‘08, he won 9 races and got second in the Chase.  3 years later, he finished second in the Chase again and everyone thought he was the next big thing.  There have been some hiccups along the way, but Edwards is going to be back this year and ready to go.  There were some positives from last year that are a sign of good things to come. For one the man had 4 poles, which aren’t always the best indicator, but it does show that he has a fast car and can drive it well, as long as he avoids piling up those DNFs.  If he can start this year like he did the last and make the Chase, there’s no telling just how high he’ll finish.  And heck, maybe he’ll get that first crown and have a back flip for the ages.

 

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Race for the Chase: Brad Keselowski // 14 Days til Daytona

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Brad Keselowski — #2

  • Team: Team Penske / Ford
  • Wins in 2013: 1
  • Last year Chase Result: N/A — No Dice.
  • Brad’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Rocky III (1983)

Apollo Creed: See that look in their eyes, Rock? You gotta get that look back, Rock. Eye of the tiger, man.

Why Brad Keselowski will not win the Chase in 2014: nscs_brad_keselowski.png.main

Do you follow Brad on Twitter? He spends a lot of time there – doing a lot of talking. Someone needs to tell him, I’m looking at you Apollo Creed, that he doesn’t have the same look in his eyes ever since he won his Championship. And to stop talking. He won one Championship and was all of a sudden on top of the world. Maybe so on top that he forgot to be competitive again and missed out on the Chase this past year. One Championship? And you’re satisfied with that Brad? Last time I checked Jimmie Johnson has 6 Championships. Oh and I wouldn’t be surprised if he his renovating his pool room to make more room for a seventh. 

Why Brad Keselowski will win the Chase in 2014: 

Brad had a rough 2013. No one wants to follow up a Championship season with a no show when it comes to the playoffs. That’s like when you throw a gutter ball immediately throwing a strike. Not good. Brad gets picked on a lot by a lot of the other drivers. It didn’t seem to bother him, and even shut them up briefly after his Championship run – but now it’s back to square one. They pick on him like you pick on your younger brother. And Brad has got to fed up with this. He’s not going to hold back any punches this year. You can see it in his post race interviews when he all but tastes victory. He’s the kind of guy that will push NASCAR to the edge. You get in his way. He may just just send you right into the wall. This could be one of the most competitive years in Sprint Cup Racing we’ve ever seen, and don’t think Brad isn’t going to go away without a fight.

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Race for the Chase: Martin Truex Jr. // 15 Days ’til Daytona

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Martin Truex Jr. — #78

  • Team: Furniture Row Racing / Chevy
  • Wins in 2013: 1
  • Last year Chase Result: N/A* — Spingate
  • Martin’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Scarface (1983)

Tony Montana: You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.”

Why Martin Truex Jr. will not win the chase in 2014: nscs_martin_truexjr.png.main

Race #26.  That’s where the wheels began to come off.  After the race, the NAPA racing team was celebrating.  Then two days later news broke that they were booted from the Chase.  And just like that it was never the same.  Truex can’t even say he was the best to not make the Chase, finishing 16th.  Then, after the season, NAPA pulled their sponsorship and Truex bolted for the Furniture Row Racing team, formally manned by Kurt Busch.  While Busch did make the Chase last year, Truex is not the same driver and as seen by the end of last year, he’s in a tailspin that will not be ending anytime soon.

Why Martin Truex Jr. will win the chase in 2014:

Truex has something to prove.  If you follow NASCAR as much as we do, then you surely already know that his teammate spun out in order to get him into the field last year.  It seemed to work out just fine too… that is until NASCAR booted Truex from the Chase.  This year will be different though.  Truex is back with a vengeance.  He wants to show everyone he can contend with the top dogs; the best of the best.  After a disappointing end to what would have been his second straight Chase appearance, Truex will be there this year and will be looking to make a statement.

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Race for the Chase: Denny Hamlin // 16 Days ’til Daytona

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Denny Hamlin — #11

  • Team: Joe Gibbs Racing / Toyota
  • Wins In 2013: 1
  • Last Year Chase Result: N/A* — Injured halfway through season.
  • Denny’s 2013 In A Nutshell: Remember the Titans (2000)

Coach Yoast: I think this is a very good time for prayer and reflection…

Gary Bertier: Coach, I’m hurt. I’m not dead.

Why Denny Hamlin will not win the chase in 2014:nscs_denny_hamlin1.png.main

Denny races for Coach Joe Gibbs, which you could make the argument for is the best team in NASCAR. Yes, Hendricks Motorsports has 6-Time, but between Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin – all in Toyotas, they make for a pretty dominant squad. Denny’s problem is he is the 3rd wheel. How do you think Jeff Gordon feels Denny? You probably aren’t getting as much love from the Coach as you’d like eh? Denny’s time may have come and gone at Gibbs. He had his chance a few years ago, and after that tough injury last year he never really found his stride again. Could be another long frustrating year for the #11 FedEx.

Why Denny Hamlin will win the chase in 2014:

Like Gary Bertier told Coach Yoast, “Coach, I’m hurt. I’m not dead.” This has to be what Denny Hamlin was telling Coach Gibbs all offseason. And he’s right. Last year he was just hurt. A tough lick like he took would sideline even the toughest SOB’s in the sport. But Denny is still hungry. And he knows that he’s sitting 3rd on Team Gibbs. And he knows most people forgot that back in 2010 he finished 2nd in the Chase to Jimmie with 8 wins. Freaking 8 wins. Denny is and can be dominant. And just when you forget about him, there he is to grab a win. There’s not as many on the schedule as he’d like, but don’t be surprise if Denny grabs just about every win at those half mile tracks this year. The #11 is looking to return to glory, and you know this year he is going to be hungrier than ever.

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman — Thank you for Twister. RIP.

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Back in the 1900′s. The Oestreich family had a VCR and about a dozen videos. About half of those were family videos. The others? Independence Day. Classic. The Flintstones with John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell. Classic. Mr. Nanny with Hulk freaking Hogan. Classic. A sports bloopers clip that never got old. And Twister. Between 1995 and 2001 – Nick and Adam Oestreich watched these movies, on repeat, at least 5,000 times. It shaped our childhood.

Will Smith in Independence Day, Goodman in Flintstones, Hulk in Mr Nanny and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Dusty in Twister. Those were the guys we, my brother and myself as two young kids looking to imitate anyone and everyone, those were the guys we looked up to.

“LOOOOOOOOSER” Dusty shouted at Jonas after he broke their stupid window. The stories he told to Bill Paxton’s fiancée about “The Suckzone” and about wild Bill at the cafe to Helen Hunt and the crew. When Dusty flips on Child in Time by Deep Purple and shouts, “It’s the wonder of NATURE baby.” and just his overall care free way of life.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman nailed it as Dusty. When Twister comes on today, or yesterday, or tomorrow or in another year or two. You know I will watch Twister just to, and now especially to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman play Dusty.

I am sorry to inform you Mr. Hoffman that I didn’t really know who you were at the time Twister came out (I was 7), or even up until a few years ago when you won your Oscar for Capote in 2005 (I was 17). But thank you for Twister. You got me in trouble numerous times with my parents for yelling “LOOOOOOOOOOSER” to my brother a lot. And you helped me somehow I am sure, survive and shape my love for bad movies – turning that love for a passion to watch good movies. I’m not sure what I am trying to say. But I do know that Dusty shaped me, comedically (maybe) somehow, some way. I don’t know for sure, but I guarantee at least 3 to 17 times I acted like Dusty as an 11 year old. I don’t really think of Dusty as much as I do Ace Ventura, or Farley as the Beverly Hills Ninja looking back at my childhood. But as I watch clips of Dusty in Twister, it takes me back to the good ole days of watching Twister over and over again. And it never gets old.

It was a pretty big bummer to hear that Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed today. Obviously in the world we live in today we forget that actors/athletes/celebrities are people just like you and I. They have families and lives and problems too. Everyone will have their favorite memories of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I’m sure not a lot will be of Dusty. But mine is of Dusty. Especially as Dusty. So thanks again for Twister Mr. Hoffman. I can’t wait for it to come on cable television again tomorrow, or next week or in a few years. Rest in Peace sir, our thoughts with you and your family.