►Between his numerous sexist remarks, past comments which can be interpreted as showing sympathy towards Hitler, and the way he’s ruled over Formula One with such an iron fist, it would make even a communist dictator blush. It’s fair to say Bernie Ecclestone is a unique, controversial and interesting guy.
So it comes as no surprise that the Grand Poobah of F1 would come up with the harebrained idea of adding artificial rain to make F1 races more exciting. Thankfully, his idea has zero support and drivers are already speaking out against using sprinklers as a way to increase passing and adding drama.
►There may be no better ambassador for NASCAR than Darrell Waltrip. It’s one of the reasons he’s beloved by so many, and at times, has made him one of the better analysts across the sporting landscape. That being said, at times Waltrip’s knack for playing favorites, self-promotion and making every story about him, does wear thin after a while. This is an opinion I share with many a NASCAR fan.
However, regardless of how I or others feel, Fox has signed the three-time Sprint Cup champion to an extension through 2014, which not coincidently is when the network’s contract with NASCAR expires.
►It’s morbid, it’s certainly a cash grab, and it will definitely get you a one-way ticket to hell, but if you’re so inclined, according to Jalopnik, the hearse which carried Dale Earnhardt to his final resting place is now for sale on eBay.
►Someone decided to have a little fun with the official Chrysler Twitter account, and voiced their displeasure with traffic in the Motor City.
►In the less than one year it’s been open, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has had a difficult time turning a profit, so it isn’t much of a surprise that Hall of Fame’s losses have now totaled $1 million.
►In non-motorsports news, one of the most enjoyable stories for me this week involves a George Washington University professor. The teacher in question was honored at halftime of a GW men’s basketball game for his charitable contributions, then was kicked out in the second half for arguing with the refs. Here’s the play-by-play from the George Washington school newspaper, on what preceded the prof getting the heave-ho.
From his sideline seat on the court, Robert Kasmir yelled at the referee over a foul call on sophomore forward David Pellom, prompting his removal from the court by a member of the athletics department.
“Basically, I told the ref he was the worst ref I’d ever seen and he wasn’t worth the $1,600 dollars they were paying him and that was it,” Kasmir said. “And then he ejected me from the game.”
►I will always believe the Southern 500 should be run on Labor Day weekend. I wish NASCAR would see the errors of its ways and restore a once-great tradition to its rightful place on the schedule.
That said, Atlanta Motor Speedway has done a more than admirable job in trying to reestablish Labor Day weekend as a major event after NASCAR erroneously moved Darlington’s race to Auto Club Speedway prior to the 2004 season. And Atlanta track officials are getting massive amounts of brownie points from me, for announcing this past week that Lynyrd Skynyrd (one of my top-five favorite bands) will be playing a full – yes, I said full – concert prior to the race.
NASCAR + Free Bird = Awesomeness!
►Deposed IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George found a way to weasel his way back on the board of the IMS. For a series that has been making wonderful gains thanks to the workmanlike efforts of new CEO Randy Bernard, the news is a bit ominous.
►Due to faulty landing-gear, Greg Biffle had a bit of a rough landing Wednesday. And I use the word ‘bit’ sarcastically, as the incident could have been far worse. Thankfully though, no one was hurt and afterwards Biffle described his pilots as “heroes.”
►Every driver has different ways to take their minds off of the pressures of racing Sprint Cup. For some, like Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, they like to run dirt races as their schedule permits. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick own teams in the Truck and Nationwide Series’.
Kurt Busch however, has decided to embrace the challenge of drag racing. This weekend in the Gatornationals, he’ll be making his first pro start in the highly-competitive NHRA Pro Stock division.
►There are a few things in life that I won’t compromise on. Such as David Pearson is the best NASCAR driver of all-time, “Rocky IV” is the best Rcky movie of the bunch and Fozzie Bear is a comedic genius.
But No. 1 on that list is the 1971 cinema classic “Le Mans” starring Steve McQueen is unquestionably, without a doubt, the best motorsports movie of all-time. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned the cinematic masterpiece will be released on Blu-ray this May. If you’re wondering; yes, my copy is already on reserve.
As we wrap things up, here’s the climatic scene from “Le Mans” depicting the start of the around-the-clock race.