Random thoughts as I try to figure out how to have a beer with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Blaney …
Last month, Ryan Blaney said some very bad things on his in-car radio using some of that strong language about Dale Earnhardt Jr. then the two had an on-track incident at Martinsville. As expected, Junior fans got a bit irate on social media toward the 23-year-old driver.
Apparently the two have made up, as Earnhardt gave Blaney a ride home from Richmond on his plane. Blaney later posted a picture having a cold beer with Earnhardt and his wife. Looked like a good time. Who do I have to tick off to get in on that action? And, by the way, Blaney is off the hook. Junior Nation has now turned their ire toward Jimmie Johnson, who ran into Earnhardt late in the race at Richmond.
This is from a real press release this week: “If (Chase) Elliott wins a NASCAR Cup Series race during the remaining 2017 season, registered fans nationwide win a select Hooters appetizer of fried pickles, tater tots or cheese sticks with purchase. If Elliott places in the top five of a NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Hooters fans win a free Mountain Dew with purchase.” This is crap. Step up your game, Hooters. If Kevin Harvick scores a top 10, everyone gets a free Bloomin’ Onion.
This, too, is a real thing: tuxedos with bedazzled cobras on the backs of the jackets. Well, heck yeah, sign me up. However, I don’t think I am Swiss enough for that.
I wrote about fixing racing a few weeks ago and talked about spoilers and splitters and downforce and aero packages. After talking a bit more about this topic with some real racecar driver types, I learned something. It’s not the front or the rear of the cars causing all the trouble; it’s the side. Side skirts are apparently a big offender causing the problems. Conclusion: banish them.
Two random drivers, Ross Chastain and Jeremy Clements, got into a fight during a red flag during the Bristol race a couple weeks ago. Clements grabbed Chastain by the shoulder and Chastain turned and punched him in the face. Pretty awesome stuff. Then it got better: it was about a girl, not racing. That’s what racing needs.
Travis Pastrana is coming back to NASCAR, at least for one race. There is also going to be an MMA card at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the All-Star race weekend. Monster has won.
I watched the ending to the Richmond Xfinity race four times. I still have no clue on that finish. No caution flag, but everyone should slow down and the race is over? I don’t get it.
There has been a lot of talk about who will replace Junior in the No. 88 next year. Two thoughts:
1. It will be the No. 25
2. Mr. Hendrick, I am available.
Clint Bowyer took to Twitter with his speculation about who the replacement will be, but is certain Hendrick won’t announce Carl Edwards until the end of the season.
You know you are in trouble when you look to professional wrestling for someone to promote your race track. That is exactly what Richmond International Raceway (one of my favorite tracks) has done. Take what you will of that.
Andy Cagle writes a weekly NASCAR column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.