Monday, January 16, 2012 14:07
NASCAR Daytona WFO Borrowing Speed’s new mantra, “Wide Freakin’ Open,” Daytona test-speeds raised eyebrows in the NASCAR trailer. Penske ex-patriot Kurt Busch topped 206 in Thursday’s testing, prompting NASCAR to reduce the restrictor plate by 1/64th of an inch. That change alone dropped two-car pod speeds to 201-202. NASCAR is trying to eliminate the trend by various means and, every time they do, the guys in the garage find a workaround. NASCAR wants to return to the pack racing days of yore, which the drivers hate and the fans love. Quite frankly, I hope I never see another “Big One” that wipes out half the field. Here are the Preseason Thunder test results.
Revving It Up—Literally Move over Tebow, NASCAR’s A.J. Almendinger is an ordained minister. Darrell Waltrip announced the Dinger’s ordination during the Speed telecast. Waltrip said Reverend Almendinger finished his seminary studies and took all the final exams in order to marry a friend after the Homestead finale last year. It remains to be seen if the blessings carry over to his new ride in Penske’s No. 22 Dodge.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to NASCAR Steven Wallace, son of former NASCAR champion Rusty, is now a pedestrian. His father shuttered Rusty Wallace Inc. after the New Year’s holiday. The elder Wallace simply cannot fund a competitive two-car Nationwide program out of his own pocket. "I don't want to do it,” he said in a Sirius radio interview. "It breaks my heart even thinking about it. But if we don't have the money to do this thing right, it's not worth doing.” The move was triggered when 5 Hour Energy left RWI to sponsor Clint Bowyer’s Sprint Cup effort at Michael Waltrip Racing. Michael Annett, Wallace’s other driver, is now left flapping in the breeze.
Verstappen Stopped Formula 1 star Jos Verstappen has been charged with attempted murder. Charges filed by his ex-girlfriend say he attempted to run her over with this car. Just wondering if alcohol was involved? This sounds like a similar incident with a famous American driver several years ago. Verstappen denies the charges, but must still cool his heels in jail for the next 14 days. Authorities say this is not their first encounter with the Dutch driver.
Bowties: The Rage in Europe In addition to being in style for better dressed men, bowties are also kicking some serious butt in European road racing. Long the brunt of jokes and derogatory nicknames, the Chevy Cruze is showing its rear bumper to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz racecars. In fact, they dominated events in both the British Touring Car and World Touring Car events. It’s nice to know the little Chevy has some sack.