Archive for the 'NASCAR' Category
After the barnstorming Daytona 500, everyone at UK American is breathing a sigh of relief as NASN (the North American Sports Network) has secured the rights to show the Nextel Cup live from the second race of the season, the Auto Club 500 from California Speedway in Fontana. A statement on nasn.com reads as follow …
LIVE NASCAR Nextel Cup returns to NASN on Sunday February 25th and will air on Setanta Sports Ireland (Sky Channel 434 in UK and 429 in ROI). Tune in at 8pm for all the exciting racing action from the Auto Club 500. Check back here on nasn.com for further announcements about additional motor sport programming on NASN.70 comments
Channel 5 have confirmed today that they have the rights to show the entire NASCAR Nextel Cup’s Daytona 500 as live. The race is to be run on Sunday Feb 18, and their showing will kick off just gone midnight (0010).
Whether 5 are trying to land the rights to the whole season, or whether they will go to another broadcaster (such as NASN) is as yet unclear.25 comments
With the Daytona 500 just over a week away, many questions are being asked. Will Montoya make the Chase (unlikely), will Toyota win a race in their first season (unlikely), will Jr finally add another Earnhardt name to the list of Cup Champions (unlikely), and will Smoke be on fire after last year’s disappointment (bet on it).
In the UK we have another burning issue. Will NASN - The North American Sports Network - actually be showing it? A quick trip to their site reveals …
“We are currently in negotiations with NASCAR regarding coverage for the upcoming season. As soon as there is anything to report on the situation, we will announce it here …”
By ”here” we’re talking www.nasn.com should you be wondering. Is it me or is that cutting things a little bit fine? Oh, and let’s not forget the Budweiser Shootout is less than a day away. Of course regular NASN viewers will recall having the same concerns last year, and will again be hoping it gets resolved. But why is the decision always so late? It’s not like NASCAR keep the schedule a closely guarded secret, and rumour has it they even have a pretty good website too.
Of course if NASN fail to secure the rights then viewers can look forward to NASN’s usual staple of repeated Canadian Football, hockey and college games. Or (and I’m just guessing here), they can cancel their subscription on Monday 19 and wait for Sky or MotorsTV to pick up the pieces.
Personally I’m praying that NASN get it resolved. And ASAP. They have done so in the past, but that never stops it feeling like a tax rebate - always very welcome, and even more surprising.8 comments
Benny Parsons, NASCAR legend and TV commentator, is stable but remains in critical condition doctors say. Parsons - BP to his friends and legion of fans - battled lung cancer in 2006, and was given the all clear last October, but complications saw him hospitalised on December 26.
Former cab driver Parsons raced in NASCAR from 1964 to 1988, making 526 starts and claiming 21 wins with 20 poles. He finished in the top three on 103 occasions and took the championship in 1973 driving the #72 Chevrolet. He added the Daytona 500 to his victories in 1975.
Parsons remains a firm favourite with fans, and one of the true gentlemen of the sport. Everyone at UKA sends their sincere best wishes for his latest battle.
Fans can send their messages of support to email@example.com.
Benny Parsons’ Website: http://www.bennyparsons.com
Offical NASCAR site: http://www.nascar.com
Richard Petty’s crash in the 1988 Daytona 500 is one of the most famous in the history of the sport. After flipping, rolling and spinning, parts from the famous #43 car are strewn all along the front stretch. Petty was uninjured for the most part, although he did suffer temporary loss of sight due to the number of extreme forces exerted on him.
The incident was recreated almost faithfully for Pixar’s 2006 movie Cars, when racecar The King (voiced by Richard Petty) crashes out. Note that the YouTube clip has no sound.
In 1979 American TV network ABC became the first to show a NASCAR race in its entirity with the season opening Daytona 500. Donnie Allison (brother of Bobby) and Cale Yarborough made sure it would long remain in the memory of those who tuned in, first by their tough fight for the lead, and second by starting a fight after wrecking. Keeping it in the family, Donnie enjoyed a helping hand as Bobby joined in the brawl. While NASCAR obviously doesn’t condone this kind of behaviour, it sure didn’t hurt the viewing figures.491 comments
When Bill France gave stock car racing the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway in 1959, the corners were banked at 31 degrees to create the fastest racing ever seen. The cars were genuine stock cars, straight off the dealers’ forcecourts, and Bob Welborn claimed the first ever Daytona 500 pole with a lap at 140.1 MPH.
Bill France’s second superspeedway, the Alabama International Speedway, opened ten years later, measuring 2.66 miles and with banking between 32 and 33 degrees in the corners.
The layout led to the highest speeds ever seen in NASCAR, and the pole was claimed by Charlie Glotzbach at 199.5 MPH. Tyre comapnies were afraid that their rubber wouldn’t hold up, and some drivers (including the King, Richard Petty) boycotted the race on the grounds it wasn’t safe.
Alabama International Speedway remained (it would be renamed Talladega Speedway in 1989), and in 1982 Benny Parsons became the first person ever to qualify a stock car at over 200 MPH (200.175).
Year on year the speeds increased, and in 1987 Bill Elliot claimed pole at nearly 213 MPH (212.809). It remains the official fastest ever qualifying or race lap in a stock car, and is a record unlikely to be beaten due to another event that same weekend.
During the race Bobby Allison suffered a puncture, and his Buick LeSabre was hurled into the safety fence at over 200 MPH. The fence did its job and nobody was injured, but the fence sustained heavy damage, and it seemed clear that if these speeds persisted, sooner or later a racecar would go through (or over) the fence with tragic consequences.
NASCAR introduced restrictor plates for use only at Daytona and Talladega. They reduce the BHP of the racecars considerably. The fastest qualifying speed for the last Talladega race in 2006 was 191.712, while the cars can clip 200 MPH during the race by drafting.
Opinion on restrictor plate racing, and whether the superspeedways should remove some of their banking is divided. What isn’t uncertain is that Daytona will remain.
YouTube clip of Bobby Allison’s crash in 1987 that forever changed the face of superspeedway racing.272 comments
I met Mike in a diner, two hours after the sun had set on a town called Nowhere. He tugged on a Marlboro and stirred his coffee as he spoke.
“Just passing through?”
I told him I was moving out tonight, heading east.
“Next town’s a hundred miles away, bet you won’t see another car all night. What you drive?”
I told him I had a Chevy. He looked up, a broad smile on his face.
“Chevy truck out back.” He hitched a thumb towards the window. “Most reliable thing I’ve ever owned. More reliable than any woman I ever knew.” He followed that statement with a laugh. I suspected he used that line all the time, but I laughed politely anyway.
We passed the time discussing the little things, George W and the Middle East, Britney and Christina. Mike said he had two cute kids. He flipped his wallet open and showed me their photos. He was right, they were cute. Mike liked hunting and fishing, hunting mostly but it kinda depends. He had a job at a factory in town that made something I’d never heard of. For Mike, life was good.
The small talk had just about died a natural death when a thought came to Mike. “You ever watch NASCAR?”
Always, I told him. Never missed a race on TV and managed to get to at least three a year.
“Got something you’ll like, then,” he said, and stood up so he could have a proper root around in the back pocket of his jeans. He found an old key, a few singles and a scrap of paper. He placed the scrap of paper on the table and jammed everything else back in his pocket.
“Got myself a website,” he smiled, sitting down and poking another Marlboro in the corner of his mouth. “Proper one, not talking MySpace.”
Turned out Mike had been doing a bit of night school lately, got himself familiar with the old html.
“It’s not an easy thing to learn, but I got there. Nothing’s ever easy anyway, is it? Sure was worth it.”
I agreed and asked him what the website was.
“You gotta see it, it’s great.” He unfurled the scrap of paper and slid it across the table. “There it is. What do you think?”
I can’t recall the exact name, but written in shaky blue biro was either jeffgordonsucks, jeffgordonblows, or perhaps ihatejeffgordon, something like that, then a dot, then a com.
“Pretty cool, huh?” Mike said proudly. “You got to check it out when you get back home, you’ll love it.”
I said I would and asked him what it was about Jeff Gordon that had annoyed him so much he had been driven to learn html.
“Nobody round here likes Jeff,” he replied, perhaps thinking that was an answer. “None of my family, none of my friends, no one.”
But what exactly was at the root of his hatred.
“For a start, he’s gay.”
Was he? I asked. I told him I didn’t know that. I did think about asking why that fact would even matter, but it was getting too late to start anything theological.
“Well he sure looks it,” Mike informed me. “Besides, I just hate him.”
I smiled and told him I’d heard that a lot around here.
“Don’t tell me you like him,” he said then rephrased it, speaking louder this time. “Don’t tell me you like Jeff Gordon!”
At that the woman behind the counter looked up. A couple to our right stopped talking and shifted their attention to us. The guy sweeping the floor leaned on his brush and waited for my answer. For a moment even the lights seemed to dim.
What, Jeff Gordon? I asked. Do I like Jeff Gordon? I tell you, the trouble with that guy is that Jeff is always Jeff.
The smile returned to Mike’s face, and before he had time to realize I hadn’t answered his question in any way, shape or form, I asked him whom he liked.
“Junior,” he said. “Who else?”
Mike regaled me with a few of his favorite Junebug anecdotes as I finished my coffee. It was getting late when I shook his hand and said I told him I had to be getting on the road. As I headed for the door he called over, “Who’s your driver then?”
Junior, I replied. Who else?
As the door was closing behind me I heard Mike talking loudly to no one in particular. “Hell, yeah!” he was saying, “Hell, yeah!”15 comments