Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paul Menard wins boring brickyard 400

Mike Shaner
July 31, 2011

Thank goodness this one is over. Paul Menard was able to stretch his fuel mileage to win a brickyard 400 that should be notable for lack of passing, fuel mileage, and empty seats.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

7 ways to fix the Nascar Sprint Cup series

Nascar became America's sport by relating to Americans. The drivers were like us. They raced the same car's we drive. They talked, walked, and acted like us.

It is no coincidence that The radical decline in popularity happened at the same time Nascar went away from this formula.

I hope Nascar will change but it seems highly doubtful....maybe another series will use this formula to regain all of the stock-car fans Nascar has alienated.

Here is what needs to be done:

  1. Lose the cookie cutter tracks. Nascar should race on short tracks, road courses, and super speedways. The 1 1/2 mile gas mileage races are as interesting as nothing. Lose them
  2. Race Stock Cars! This will increase competition, lower cost, and give the fans something to identify with. Just mandate that every car on the track be a showroom style car and only factory aftermarket parts should be allowed. If someone wants to race a camry fine, but it must have a v-6 engine, or whatever engine the car comes with in stock condition. This will lead to the factories producing better street cars and fans buying them!
  3. Let the racers race back to the caution flags.
  4. By letting the racers race to the yellow flag we will have no more need for that stupid lucky dog award
  5. Caution laps do not count with under 50 laps to go
  6. Eliminate the pit road speed limit. Let the fastest crews and the fastest drivers win the races.
  7. Stop granting drivers automatic qualifying spots based on points. Let the fastest 43 drivers race...period. Imagine how much more interest fans would show in qualifying if there was a chance Dale Jr. wouldn't make the race
Obviously there is a lot more that can be done but this is a start. Feel free to add to the list or tell m where I'm wrong

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ryan newman wins New Hampshire

1139 Ryan Newman ChevroletU.S. Army 48/2 301Running
2214 Tony Stewart ChevroletOffice Depot / Mobil 1 43/1 301Running
31411 Denny Hamlin ToyotaFedEx Freight 41/0 301Running
41620 Joey Logano ToyotaThe Home Depot 41/1 301Running
52848 Jimmie Johnson ChevroletLowe's 40/1 301Running
6104 Kasey Kahne ToyotaRed Bull 39/1 301Running
72347 Bobby Labonte ToyotaCapitalWindow
37/0 301Running
81356 Martin Truex Jr. ToyotaNAPA Auto Parts 36/0 301Running
9229 Marcos Ambrose FordDewalt 36/1 301Running
10422 Kurt Busch DodgeShell / Pennzoil-AAA 35/1 301Running
11724 Jeff Gordon ChevroletDrive to End Hunger 34/1 301Running
121743 A.J. Allmendinger FordBest Buy 32/0 301Running
131599 Carl Edwards FordOrtho Home Defense Max 32/1 301Running
14266 David Ragan FordUPS "We Love Logistics" 30/0 301Running
152788 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ChevroletNational Guard / Amp Energy 29/0 301Running
16631 Jeff Burton ChevroletCaterpillar 28/0 301Running
171233 Clint Bowyer ChevroletGood Sam Club / Cheerios 28/1 301Running
182016 Greg Biffle Ford3M 27/1 301Running
19300 David Reutimann ToyotaAaron's Dream Machine 25/0 301Running
203017 Matt Kenseth FordAffliction Clothing: Live Fast 24/0 301Running

Pedrosa wins in Germany as Lorenzo cuts Stoner's MotoGP lead

Spanish motorcyclist Dani Pedrosa won the German Grand Prix on Sunday to leave the MotoGP championship battle finely poised going into the second half of the 2011 season.

Titleholder Jorge Lorenzo reduced Casey Stoner's overall lead to just 15 points after nine races, with the Spaniard overtaking Pedrosa's Repsol Honda teammate at the last corner to claim second place.

Pedrosa missed three races with a broken collarbone, but last year's championship runner-up has now climbed to fifth -- 74 points behind Stoner -- with his third victory at the Sachsenring circuit in motorcycling's elite class and fifth overall, having placed eighth on his return in Italy. Full story

Sunday, July 3, 2011

David Reagan finally wins at Daytona!

"It's a good feeling to come back here — we got one back at Daytona," said Ragan, 25, in post race interviews. "It would have been tough to lose another one. I thought about that, actually, under that last caution [before the final restart]. I said, 'Man, if we don't win this thing, I'm not going to talk to anyone afterward.'

156 David Ragan FordUPS "We Love Logistics" 47/4 170Running
21617 Matt Kenseth FordAffliction Clothing: Live Fast 43/1 170Running
33720 Joey Logano ToyotaThe Home Depot 41/0 170Running
4134 Kasey Kahne ToyotaRed Bull 41/1 170Running
53818 Kyle Busch ToyotaInterstate All Battery Center 40/1 170Running
6424 Jeff Gordon ChevyPepsi Max 39/1 170Running
73129 Kevin Harvick ChevyBudweiser Folds of Honor 38/1 170Running
81027 Paul Menard ChevyQuaker State / Menards 37/1 170Running
93042 Juan Montoya ChevyTarget 36/1 170Running
10943 A.J. Allmendinger FordU.S. Air Force 34/0 170Running
111914 Tony Stewart ChevroletBurger King 34/1 170Running
122083 Brian Vickers ToyotaRed Bull 32/0 170Running
133611 Denny Hamlin ToyotaFedEx Express 32/1 170Running
142522 Kurt Busch DodgeShell / Pennzoil 31/1 170Running
15262 Brad Keselowski DodgeMiller Lite 30/1 170Running
163934 David Gilliland FordFront Row Motorsports 28/0 170Running
17159 Marcos Ambrose FordDewalt 27/0 170Running
181716 Greg Biffle Ford3M 27/1 170Running
19688 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ChevroletNational Guard Heritage / Amp Energy 26/1 170Running
20848 Jimmie Johnson ChevroletLowe's Summer Salute 24/0 170Running
211231 Jeff Burton ChevroletCaterpillar 24/1 170Running
22181 Jamie McMurray ChevroletMcDonald's 23/1 170Running
231139 Ryan Newman ChevroletBass Pro Shops / NRA 23/2 170Running
242878 Regan Smith ChevroletFurniture Row Companies 21/1 170Running
252300 David Reutimann ToyotaAaron's Dream Machine 19/0 170Running
262151 Landon Cassill ChevroletThank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 0169Running
27771 Andy Lally * FordInterstate Moving Services 17/0 169Running
284132 Terry Labonte FordC&J Energy 16/0 169Running
292738 Travis Kvapil FordLong John Silver's 0169Running
304387 Joe Nemechek - Pellet & Wood Stoves / Extenze 0169Running
312447 Bobby Labonte ToyotaKingsford 13/0 168Running
323213 Casey Mears ToyotaGEICO 13/1 164Running
3315 Mark Martin ChevroletCarquest / Go
12/1 164Running
34387 Robby Gordon DodgeSpeed Energy 10/0 163Running
353456 Martin Truex Jr. ToyotaNAPA Auto Parts 10/1 162Accident
36333 Clint Bowyer ChevroletWheaties Fuel 9/1 162Accident
371499 Carl Edwards FordSubway 8/1 144Running
3835135 Geoff Bodine ChevroletLuke & Associates 6/0 143Wheel Bearings
394036 Dave Blaney ChevroletGolden Corral 5/0 47Accident
402960 Mike Skinner ToyotaBig Red 05Wheel Bearings
41221 Trevor Bayne FordMotorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 04Accident
423366 Michael McDowell ToyotaHP Racing LLC 2/0 2Electrical
432297 Kevin Conway ToyotaExtenze 01Rear Gear

Lorenzo Outlasts Stoner in MotoGP's Italian Grand Prix

YAMAHA'S defending champion Jorge Lorenzo held off a strong Honda challenge to win the Italian MotoGP last night, cutting into Casey Stoner's championship lead. 

Fresh from lowering the track record in qualifying at the Mugello circuit on Saturday, the Australian led for the opening 17 laps.

But with six laps to go, Lorenzo took the lead with a sublime inside pass on Stoner, pinching the inside lane through a steep, downhill chicane with pinpoint deftness.
Stoner was then ambushed by Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap and had to be happy with third place. Read Full Story Here

MotoGP Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
3. Casey Stoner (Honda)
4. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
5. Marco Simoncelli (Honda)
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
7. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
8. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)

Friday, July 1, 2011

NBA Joins the NFL in Lockout

By Joey Kaufman/Special to LAist
With the NFL on hold, it appears as if pro basketball has followed suit.
The NBA imposed a lockout of its players at 9:01 p.m. PST Thursday following the expiration of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Both owners’ representatives and union leaders were unable to reach a new labor deal following a three-hour meeting in New York earlier in the day, putting the 2011-2012 season in jeopardy as a result... Now for the rest of the story

Josh Lakatos and Greg Taylor were big winers at Ventura county raceway on June 25, 2011

For immediate releaseFrom: Ventura Racewayre: Additional go VRA Go Kart Events added to 2011 season schedule

(Oxnard, CA 6-8-11) Ventura Raceway is adding two VRA Go Kart races to its current schedule. The races will take place on Saturday June 25 and Saturday July 16 as addition to already scheduled events.. For more information please call Ventura Raceway at (805) 985-5433.

Big Winners Josh Lakatos and Greg Taylor.

Greg Taylor finally nabs the big one with The All Coast Challenge Feature Win.

Josh Lakatos won the Battle at the Beach for Midgets.

Nick Carlson is almost unbeatable in Ford Focus Midgets.

Parker Colston wins the Junior Focus Main.

James Locy wins the Go Kart Feature.
Ventura CA - June 25, 2011.....Thirty three VRA Sprint Cars and drivers signed into the pits all with the hope to be the team to take the $3,000 winners check in the second of three All Coast Challenge Races for VRA 360 Sprint Cars. All the top drivers were there and all gave it there best shot. In the end it was VRA past champion and current point leader Greg Taylor who showed them the way. Taylor started tenth in the field of 20 cars in the 30 lap feature, but by lap seven he had passed early race leader Josh Ford. He then went on to lead the rest of the race that saw 16 of the finishers on the lead lap. Three cars were one lap down and only Cory Kruseman did not finish the event going off the track on lap 25. Following Taylor to the line were Josh Ford, Richard Vanderweerd, Brian Camarillo and Johnathon Henry. The good car count saw three heat races run with wins going to Brent Camarillo in heat one, Markus Niemela in heat two, Richard Vanderweerd in heat three and Brian Camarillo in heat four. One Semi Main was run with Brody Roa taking the win. Derek Buckley, Tom Hendrix and Tom Harper joined him taking the final transfer spots for the main event. The win by Taylor in this special All Coast Challenge Series race puts him out front in the point race for this prestigious championship for the series within a series. With one race to go on October 29, Taylor leads Johnathon Henry by 40 points and Derek Buckley by 65 points and Josh Ford by 105 points. His win also keeps him out front in the regular season VRA point race by 355 points over Josh Ford. Ventura Raceway and all the VRA drivers and crews want to give a special thanks to Mike Grosewendt of All Coast Construction for sponsoring this event and series.

The Second Battle of the Beach for USAC versus VRA Midgets proved to be another great race. With 24 cars signed into the pits and all of them taking the green flag for the 30 lap feature the fans in attendance knew that the race would be one not to miss. Josh Lakatos who has raced hard here on many occasions finally got his first USAC Midget win at Ventura as he started outside front row and went on to dominate the race leading all 30 laps. VRA Midget driver Brent Camarillo tried desperately to catch him to no avail and finished a strong second. Cory Kruseman took third to maintain his point lead in the Battle at the Beach Series as well as the VRA Midget Series. Fourth place went to Robby Josett with fifth going to Greg Bragg. There were a number of early race incidents that took four cars out of the event. Once the race got going it race fast and furious to the end. Sean Dodenhoff had the hardest crash of the evening as he flipped his number 9D midget in turn three on lap 26 bringing out a short red flag condition. There were three heat races competed on Saturday with wins going to Cory Kruseman in heat one, Brent Camarillo in heat two and Josh Lakatos in heat three.

USAC Ford Focus Midgets and Junior Ford Focus Midgets were also on hand Saturday night. Wins in the Junior Ford Focus division went to Parker Colston who took the one heat race and then went on to end Cole Custer's domination of feature wins in taking the 20 lap main event. Finishing second through fifth were Katlynn Leer, Zac Bogner, Cole Custer and Christine Breckenridge. Brennan Rogers who had finished second on the track had his car fail post race inspection taking him out of the final results. Nonetheless, the VRA Junior Midget champion and current point leader, who was making his first Focus start, drove a great race and deserves credit for his effort. In the regular Ford Focus Division, the heat race wins went to Jett Davison in heat one and Wally Pankratz in heat two. The 20 lap feature went to Nick Carlson followed by Wally Pankratz, Casey Martinez, Tyler Dolacki and Jet Davison

VRA Go Karts were the final group racing Saturday night. Two heat races were run with wins going to George Ito and Cody Nigh. The feature was a hard fought win by James Locy followed by Ken Ito, David Pankratz, George Ito and Tyler Stover.

Ventura Raceway now takes a two week break as special events are held at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. We will return to racing on Saturday July 16, with a full program of racing action featuring VRA Sprints, VRA Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Junior Ford Focus Midgets, VRA Sport Compacts and VRA Go Karts.

NASCAR Coke Zero 400 Qualifying Results: Mark Martin Beats Trevor Bayne For Daytona Pole

Mark Martin, 52, nipped 20-year-old Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne for the top spot. It is Martin's third Daytona pole; he also sat on the pole for this race in 1989 and took the top spot for the 2010 Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start sixth. Get the full story here

Joey Logano wins. Danica Patrick wrecks.

Danica Patrick was passed for the lead with two laps to go in Friday's Nationwide race and finished 10th despite being involved in a multi-car crash as she crossed the finish line.
Mike Wallace moved up in front of Patrick as she closed in on the checkered flag and as she tried to avoid him, she got sideways off Aric Almirola's bumper, collecting Steven Wallace, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and others. Now for the rest of the story...

We don't need no stinkin' playoffs

We have heard for years that college football needs a playoff. Even President Obama (another government take over?) has lobbied for it. “It just isn’t fair,” they moan. “How hard can it be?” they cry.

The media, the fans, and of course the government all blame the BCS fat cats for “just wanting to make more profit” as if profit is a bad thing for a business to make.

That argument is of course ridiculous because a playoff system would allow more games, which means more television viewers, which means more advertising revenue, which means (gasp!) more profit. Perhaps the people who make this argument have never seen a tiny little game they call THE SUPER BOWL!

The Super bowl is a good example here actually. Last years super bowl featured the Arizona cardinals and the Pittsburg Steelers. Does anyone really believe that these were the two best teams in football? Could you not argue that the Giants, Pats, Chargers, or Colts were not better than at least one of these teams?

If you could make this argument then does that not make the playoff argument somewhat ridiculous?

The BCS national championship game was played between The Florida Gators and The Oklahoma Sooners. Do most people believe that Florida was the best team in the country last year?

Let us go back a little further shall we? In the 2008 Super bowl The New York Giants Beat the Pats in an unbelievable Super Bowl. With out a doubt one of the best super bowls we have ever witnessed but were the giants really the best team in the NFL that year? I believe you can say with the same degree of certainty that the 2007 LSU Tigers were the best team in college football.

Ok let us go back one more year to the 2007 Super bowl where the colts outlasted the bears 29-17. You can make a convincing argument that the colts were the best team that season, but you can make just as strong an argument that the bears were not the second best team.

Florida beat The Ohio state buckeyes for the national title that year. I believe the argument can be made that those two teams were the #1 and #2 teams in the land. I can keep going back year after year and pulling up these same comparisons but I think you get my point.

In college football, you have to be the best team every single week. In the NFL, you do not need to be good early but you damn well better get hot in November. How many people don’t watch the regular season in baseball, basketball, hockey etc…? Why is that? People do not watch these regular seasons because they are unimportant. I believe a champion needs to be the best from the beginning to end.
I believe Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali were great champions because they were top competitors in every fight as opposed to some one like James Buster Douglas who did just enough to grab a title fight and landed a lucky punch.

Do I think the BCS is a perfect system? No. I think it is much like our healthcare system, it could use some tweaks, but it is still the best system out there. One of those tweaks is we should do away with ALL conference tie-ins. If we have four BCS bowls, number 1 should play number two and number 3 should play number four and so on. In my opinion, this would allow more interesting match ups and we would not have that lame Hawaii vs UGA sugar bowl game to endure.

I realize the system is not perfect. No system is. It has however come a long way and I believe will continue to evolve. I am not against a plus one system at all. I think a plus one format is where we should strive to get and eventually be. In a plus one system, it only adds one extra game and does not compromise the regular season. It seems that with very few exceptions a plus one system would have truly settled all the controversy.

I would have loved to see Florida and Utah battle it out last year. Florida would have won but in a much more exciting game than people think. I believe auburn would have won the NC in 2004 if we had a plus one system. UGA could have possibly won it in 07. I am very much in favor of having a “true” national champion. I just do not want the regular season’s importance to become mythical. I would rather do away with all post-season games and have the media vote for a mythical national champion than ruin the truest playoff in sports that is the college football regular season. We need a plus one. College football will never need a playoff system.

When Political correctness ruins sports

Originally published November 11, 2009
Mike Shaner

Oxford Mississippi-The University of Mississippi’s first-year chancellor followed through on a promise Tuesday and asked the band to stop playing a pep song because some fans are chanting “the South will rise again” at the end of the medley.

As a person Married to an ethnic minority I find this offensive. As a person who supports civil rights for all human beings regardless of creed or color, I find this offensive.

Perhaps most importantly I find this offensive as an American. The ironic thing is that no one really cares if I am offended. I write this article knowing that it could destroy any career aspirations I may have. I understand that people will call me names such as racist or ignorant.

 I also find it sad that I have to disclose that my wife is of a different race than my own just to defend myself from the claims of racism that are sure to follow. I realize this article will not be politically correct and finally I no longer care.

The people of the South have a right to honor their heritage and tradition just as much as Native, Mexican, African, or any other American. Has the South had issues with racial relations? Of course, so has Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and any where else in the world. That is not the point. First let me say that the chant has nothing to do with race. No one is chanting “The whites will rise again” no one is even suggesting that.

The chant was a way to give people hope that they could rise from the ashes of a war torn poverty stricken era. Even more important though, is the truth that its meaning and level of offense are simply unimportant in this debate. This is still the USA and people should still have the right to offend. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offended many people with his words at one time. Words that now provide the hope and vision of America. Imagine if he were not allowed to say them because it offended so many in the main stream. Where would we be today?

I am often disheartened to hear of someone being demonized for his unpopular speech. Larry Johnson was dismissed from the chiefs for making a politically incorrect statement about homosexuals. Why can’t Larry Johnson have his opinion? This is beyond ridiculous. If you are so easily offended by what another person has to say, well, that seems to be more of a personal issue. I am offended by the idea that a person could lose his job because members of the media do not like what he has to say.

At this point in our history their is a huge debate going on about gay marriage. Should Homosexual’s be allowed to marry? I for one believe that a person can love and live with whom he chooses. I also believe the government has no right to be in the marriage business at all. In this case my opinion is probably very PC ….but if it wasn’t, if I happened to believe something that reason to have me stoned to death? How can we take a way the right to offend someone without offending someone else? I have stayed out of this type of discussion for a long time, but now it reaches the sports arena and I cannot help but wonder whats next.

Rush Limbaugh can be a polarizing person, and I often disagree with him. I do find it bizarre that many people say he is not fit to be involved with the NFL. The same NFL that welcomes back Michael Vick and Pac Man Jones. Perhaps it is not PC to offend Pac man. Rush, he is a different story.

I like to believe we have come along way in race relations. The first black quarterback to win the Superbowl was Doug Williams, The First black coach to win the Superbowl was Tony Dungy, and the first black president of the United States is Barrack Obama. I realize things are not perfect. I doubt they ever will be. I know we can continue to improve. I just cant help but wonder though, how can we ever truly be equals if it is fine to offend me yet you must be protected from such offense.

These opinions are my own and not the opinions of anyone who chooses to publish or reproduce this article. The fact that I have to write this disclaimer is very offensive to me. What do you think?