Random Musings while imagining the future of Cup racing with 11 teams of four cars each and the dire near-term future of the Nationwide Series... Big "attaboys" to Patrick Carpentier and Landon Cassill for their first NASCAR pole positions. Having worked with Patrick and Dario Franchitti back in their open-wheel days, I must admit to small surprise seeing the very likeable Patrick out-perform Dario. I think a lot has to do with the performance of the GEM program being vastly superior to Ganassi's so far in 2008... speaking of open-wheel, I'm slightly encouraged (history tells me not to get my hopes up until it happens) to hear the IRL could switch to a more attractive chassis and multiple engine manufacturers for 2011. Even more exciting, they are exploring the use of turbocharged engines, which not only act as an easily controlled speed limiter, but also make beautiful noise. It's like the soaring sound of a Les Paul guitar through a Marshall stack versus the current noise of a farting tuba through a fast-food drive-thru speaker...Imagine the level of salivating in the media center when Hendrick officially announced Casey Mears' exit from the No. 5 car. Silly Season is now officially wide-open. How serious is Tony Stewart on becoming a car owner versus his desire to win races? That could determine if he jumps into the 5 car - and creating an even-more-super superteam...
Rarely am I envious of media hits for other drivers (Jeff Gordon hosting Saturday Night Live was an example - but Junior absolutely refused to consider the idea of hosting or even making a brief cameo appearance, so my hands were tied), but the Freakonomics/New York Times blog is currently featuring an intriguing "Ask a NASCAR driver" segment. They've chosen Kyle Busch instead of someone more well-spoken and thoughtful like Jeff Burton. A quick sample of the questions shows a lot of disdain for NASCAR, and someone like Burton would seem to be more appropriate to counteract them.
Why is it the most intelligent political and social discourse on TV is limited to the faux-news or comedy shows? The world of shout-and-pout cable news could learn a helluva lot from Jon Stewart. Here's foreign/war correspondent Lara Logan on The Daily Show. In the same vein, if you'd like an intense, emotional and personal look at the path of a young soldier killed in Iraq, carve out an hour or so to read from Esquire Magazine's "The Things That Carried Him."
Speaking of Sad and Pathetic: I had to call "B.S." when I read recently the former Swift Boat machine belly-aching about a lack of financing and not equipped to challenge Obama. Don't believe it for a second. Especially after seeing the newest political button (pictured, right) being distributed by the Texas Republican party - the same geniuses which gave us Dubya, Dick, DeLay, Rove and a seemingly endless list of Neo-Cons. It's only going to get more bloody. Such as Grover Norquist (infamous for saying he'd like to see the government eliminated until it's "small enough to be drowned in the bathtub") saying Obama is "John Kerry with a tan." I guess "coded" racist terms will no longer be so coded.
File in the "WTH? Folder": Add another line to the resume, as I'll be an adjunct professor/lecturer this fall as a part of the UNC Charlotte Sports Marketing MBA program. I'll be a part of a duo teaching "Management of Motorsports" (that's course number MBAS 6361 in case you're scoring at home) alongside all-around Good Joe (and fingerprint guest blogger) Dr. Jack Cathey.
We'll hopefully have a few new loud and fast projects in the pipeline sometime soon. Stay tuned. Film at 11.