Site Redesign in the Works

I’m finally getting around to updating and redesigning DanielVining.com.  This is my “home” on the Internet so I really want to use this space to showcase everything I’m doing on the Internet.

Anyway, a fresh redesign is well underway, so if you stumble upon this website, stay tuned!

#StickinWithKurt: Brickyard 400; BONUS: Kurt Visits Walter-Reed

(Photo: Parker Anderson Photography)

#StickinWith… is a series where we follow a given driver all the way to victory lane, even if it takes a while. As of late, that focus as been on Kurt Busch. Busch picked up a huge win at Daytona in the Nationwide Series race, and then struggled at Loudon resulting in a mid-pack finish. At Indianapolis, Busch started out the weekend with a less than stellar performance in the Nationwide Race after contact on pit road early with Kyle Fowler damaged the nose of his racer. Later on, Busch suffered from an electrical malfunction that ultimately sidelined him for the day.

For today’s Brickyard 400, Kurt Busch starts a very respectable 13th. While the scope and grandure of Indy will most likely incompass the capabilities of the limited Phoenix Racing outfit, a huge win is not out of the question. Fuel mileage has often proved pivitol to the victor here, and staying out of trouble is a must. “Track position” is the primary key to success at the Brickyard, where passing comes at a premium. If Kurt Busch can stay out of trouble both on track and on pit road, manage some better than average fuel mileage and maintain strong track position, then he has just a good of a chance at kissing the bricks as any of the other 42 drivers.

Once again, I am #StickinWithKurt.

BONUS:

Kurt took time around the Loudon weekend to stop by the Critical Care Unit at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Reid Spencer, from the NASCAR Wire Service writes about Kurt’s visit.

With practiced briskness, Kurt Busch pulls on a pair of rubber surgical gloves and slips into a disposable hospital smock — both non-negotiable requirements for a visit to a third-floor room in the Critical Care Unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There is anger in the eyes of the wounded soldier lying on the hospital bed, connected to a wall of IV drips and vital-sign monitors. That’s not quite accurate. The bed sheets drawn up to the stomach fail to hide a stark reality — that the soldier propped up at a 30-degree angle is really half a soldier.

An improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, on his third tour of combat duty, removed his legs and everything else up to the lower torso. The remains of his organs are held in by mesh. But the anger is real, and so is the sense of bewilderment, as the 24-year-old soldier named Joseph contemplates a life without walking, without unaided motion, without sex.

On July 9, Joseph is not quite six weeks removed from the explosion that blew away the lower half of his body.

“It’s rare that you see someone who’s that angry this early,” Patricia Driscoll would say later.

Driscoll is Kurt Busch’s girlfriend, a powerful counterweight to a mercurial former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion trying to find balance in his life. Driscoll also is president and CEO of the Armed Forces Foundation, and in that capacity, she has moved mountains for Joseph and his family. When labor union red tape threatened to prevent Joseph’s father from sharing what might have been the last days of his son’s life, Driscoll used a combination of persuasion and clout to bring the father to Walter Reed without fear of losing his job.

Busch tries to break the ice with Joseph, who has had little exposure to NASCAR racing. The meeting is halting at first, but during a visit that lasts nearly an hour, the driver and the soldier achieve a rapport. Joseph revisits the day his life changed forever.

“When you get hit with an IED, it’s supposed to knock you unconscious,” Joseph said. “That didn’t happen to me. I remember everything. I felt everything. . . .”

Despite his ordeal, Joseph is surprisingly strong. He exercises his arms using tethers suspended from a bar above his bed. Busch discovers just how strong Joseph is when he challenges the solider to a good-natured bout of arm wrestling.

At the end of the visit, Busch signs NASCAR hero cards for Joseph and his family. Joseph promises to tune in to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire, and there is every sense he will keep that promise. As they leave the room, Driscoll slips a check for $3,000 to Joseph’s father to help with bills at home while he stays with his son at the hospital.(see much more at NASCAR Wire Service)

Armstrong Survives Chicagoland in 16th

Dakota Armstrong hits pit road during the American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo: ThorSport Racing)

ThorSport Racing Press Release

Joliet, Ill. (July 21, 2012)–  After celebrating his 21st birthday at the beginning of the week, Dakoda Armstrong traveled to Chicagoland Speedway with his No. 98 EverFi Toyota team for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 225. Working through tight handling conditions for the majority of the evening, Armstrong survived several late restarts and three-wide battles to bring home a 16th place finish.

Both practice sessions on Friday afternoon produced a loose handling condition for Armstrong, triggering a major adjustment call by crew chief Dan Stillman for qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The changes seemed to help tighten up the EverFi Tundra, which also featured Syngenta Agrisure Artisan and Mudd Advertising this weekend. The rookie of the year contender was able to hold his No. 98 machine nearly wide open during his qualifying laps for the first time all weekend, laying down the 20th best time of the session.

The first of seven cautions came after just eight laps of green flag racing, giving Armstrong his first opportunity to report his Tundra’s handling conditions to his ThorSport Racing crew. The loose condition he had felt during practice seemed to resurface in the first few laps of competition, but shortly after going back to the green, Armstrong reported that the truck had switched over to the tight side.

Adjustments made to the EverFi Tundra during the first two pit stops seemed to make only a slight difference for Armstrong as he continued to maintain his running position just outside the top-15. He fell one lap behind the leader just past the halfway point, but a strategy call by Stillman to stay out and get the wave around under the fourth caution on lap 100 helped Armstrong get back to the lead lap once again. Stillman made more adjustments under the final pit stop on lap 108 that seemed to make the No. 98 Tundra neutral for the rookie driver.

Two more cautions for incidents within the last 15 laps created a hornet’s nest of competitors after each restart, giving Armstrong the opportunity to gain a few more positions with the finish line in sight. Carefully dodging the trouble that unfolded around him, including a spin directly in front of him coming across the finish line to take the checkered flag, Armstrong captured the 16th finishing position.

“Our EverFi Tundra was pretty neutral on the final run, but we just didn’t have enough time to make anything happen. The restarts were really wild; there were other trucks all around me and it just seemed like there was nowhere to go. I think we could’ve picked up a top-10 finish there at the end if I could’ve just found a hole to make it happen on the final restart,” Armstrong explained.

“I’m happy that we made it through tonight and Dan Stillman and the crew made some good changes to get us to where we needed to be at the end. We still have some work to do to get where we need to be, but we’re getting better every week.”

The next round of competition for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, August 4, for the Pocono Mountains 125. Coverage for the event will begin at 12:30 pm EST on SPEED.

 

Working on Stuff

No long, drawn out post about something in the racing world for me this weekend. While the NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series are in Chicago, the Cup Series has the weekend off. So do I. I spent most of the day lounging and sleeping yesterday. That’s pretty much the plan for today. I’ll have an eye toward the TV with the Nationwide and IndyCar races, and I’ll be working on a few off my many projects.

For example, this post was written on my iPad, and I will be looking at some social media tools for this site.

Mostly… Its gonna be a lazy day.

Paul Boswell Named Montgomery Motor Speedway General Manager

Montgomery Motor Speedway Press Release

(Montgomery, AL) – Bobby Knox, owner of Montgomery Motor Speedway, has named Paul Boswell the new Promoter/General Manager of the half-mile asphalt oval West of Montgomery, AL. Boswell has been the Head of Scoring at the track since 2010. Boswell’s resume also includes six years of service at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, AL as both a scorer and public address announcer.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” commented Boswell, “I can’t thank Mr. Bobby Knox enough for giving me this chance. I know we have a long uphill battle ahead, but I am ready to jump in and get it done. I know we can’t change everything overnight, and I don’t plan on that. I also know that this will not be an easy task. We have a great staff here at MMS, and together as a team we are going to make it happen. I’ve already heard some great things from teams, drivers, and fans. I feel like I have got a lot of support behind me, and that means a lot. I’m ready to get to work to finish out the 2012 season, and make 2013 the best yet for Montgomery Motor Speedway.”

Boswell will be responsible for all day-to-day operations at the speedway. He will also handle all public relations and social media for the track.

Boswell will be in the track office full-time starting July 30 to prepare for the upcoming Show Me the Money 100 event on August 18.

You can reach Paul by email at paul.boswell@MontgomerySpeedway.com or by phone at (334) 494-6326. For more information about Montgomery Motor Speedway, visit the track’s website at www.MontgomerySpeedway.com

Grill Dominates Show Me the Money 100

Becomes Fourth Different Winner in Four Races this Season

Montgomery Motor Speedway Press Release

(Montgomery, AL) – The Show Me the Money Series returned to Montgomery Motor Speedway this past Saturday night for the fourth of six races this season. A strong field of cars including Augie Grill, Hunter Robbins, Mike Garvey, DJ VanderLey, Logan Boyett, Justin South, and well as countless other Pro Late Model talents converged on the half-mile.

In qualifying, it was Augie Grill setting fast time, touring the speedway in a time of 18.904 seconds. Current Show Me the Money Series points leader Hunter Robbins qualified second, with John Bolen, Mike Garvey and DJ VanderLey rounding out the top five in qualifying.

Grill rolled a six on the giant die for inversion, putting inaugural Show Me the Money winner, Justin South on the pole for the 100 lap feature, with VanderLey on his outside. The two battled side-by-side for the first few laps, with South claiming the early lead. On lap seven, it was the veteran Grill who took command.

He led until lap 41 when he accidentally bumped his ignitions kill switch, cutting power to his GARC race car. He was able to correct the problem, but not before losing five positions in the process. Garvey inherited the lead, and held on to it until lap 52 when Grill worked his way back to the point.

Grill would hold on to take the victory. Defending Show Me the Money Champion, and current points leader, Hunter Robbins fought from an early pit stop to work his way from the back of the pack to take second. Justin South held a strong third all race, while Mike Garvey faded to fourth. Kyle Bryant, in his first start at Montgomery Motor Speedway claimed the fifth spot; his first top five of the year.

Robbins, with his second place finish extends his points lead to 40 markers over Mike Garvey with two races remaining. Justin South finds himself 75 points back in third.

In local division action, Spencer Davis, pulling double-duty started shotgun on the three truck field in the combined Truck and Super Stock division. The Georgia youngster made his way past Shannon Berry to take the lead on lap 6 and never looked back, claiming the win. Berry held on for second, with Shelby Reuse finishing in third.

The Mini-Modified division saw their best turnout in over two years at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Chris Landers made his return to MMS after engine troubles early in the season and started on pole, but it was Joel Collier jumping out to the early lead. Collier led the first 5 laps before Landers found his way by. Landers led the rest of the race, but had pressure from behind from Collier, Justin Nix, and Scott Rice. Rice made contact with Collier down the back straight causing Collier to find the wall, ending his night. Landers won, followed by Nix, Rice, Joshua Anderson, and Joel Collier.

In the Buzz division, Roger Wood Jr set a new track record in qualifying with a blistering time of 24.319 seconds. He started on the rear of the field, however, and drove his way to the front. Floyd brown led the first 13 laps with with Matthew Robbins, Perry Patino and Roger Wood Jr in tow. The top four cars battled nose to tail the entire race until a radiator hose let go on Patino’s machine, ending his race. Wood worked his way on the outside line to get around Robbins and Brown with two laps to go to score the victory. Brown held on for second, with Robbins third, Tim Grace fourth, and Jason Gentry rounding out the top five.

The Street Stock division once again had plenty of action, but it wasn’t the battle for the lead everyone had their eyes on. Joe Bethea Jr started on the pole and led every lap. The battle however, was for second. Billy Ammons, Daniel Jacks, and Richard Patino all took turns swapping positions for second through fourth. It was Ammons who would take second, with Jacks third, Patino fourth, and Jason Mayhan rounding out the top five.

Montgomery Motor Speedway will return to action on Saturday, August 18, 2012 with the fifth race in the Show Me the Money Series for the Pro Late Models. Also in action will be Super Stocks/Trucks, Street Stock, Mini-Modified, and Buzz.

For more information on the Show Me the Money Series or Montgomery Motor Speedway, visit the track’s website atwww.MontgomerySpeedway.com or call the track office at (334) 262-6101.

 

Official Results

 

Pro Late Models

Show Me the Money Series

Show Me the Money 100

  1. #112 Augie Grill
  2. #18 Hunter Robbins
  3. #43 Justin South
  4. #1 Mike Garvey
  5. #79 Kyle Bryant
  6. #29 Spencer Davis
  7. #07 Kevin Donahue
  8. #23 Dillian Estis
  9. #29 Allan Gordan
  10. #10 Bill Bethea III
  11. #2 DJ VanderLey
  12. #2 John Bolen
  13. #07 Blake Ferguson
  14. #11 Logan Boyett
    DNS #89 Jeremy Cropper

Street Stock – 25 Laps

  1. #33 Joe Bethea Jr
  2. #3 Billy Ammons
  3. #1 Daniel Jacks
  4. #51 Richard Patino
  5. #8 Jason Mayhan
  6. #38 Whit Goode
  7. #17 Buddy Pitts
  8. #35 Adam Freeman
  9. #83 Todd Hill
    DNS #63 Randy Chism

Buzz – 15 Laps

  1. #22 Roger Wood Jr.
  2. #48 Floyd Brown
  3. #36 Matthew Robbins
  4. #18 Tim Grace
  5. #82 Jason Gentry
  6. #51 Perry Patino
  7. #21 Joshua Wood

Mini-Modified – 15 Laps

  1. #9 Chris Landers
  2. #27 Justin Nix
  3. #66 Scott Rice
  4. #54 Joshua Anderson
  5. #71 Joel Collier
    DNS #2 Tyler Armstrong

Truck/Super Stock – 15 Laps

  1. #29 Spencer Davis
  2. #12 Shannon Berry
  3. #49 Shelby Reuse

Weekend Wrap: New Hampshire Green Flag Heavy with End of Race Twists

Start of F.W. Webb 200

Start of NASCAR Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo: NASCARMedia.com)

New Hampshire Motor Speedway played host to both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series this weekend in Loudon, NH. Both races were green flag heavy, a continuing trend this season. Also, both races feature dominant drives and each had a unique plot twist at the end of the race.

CUP:

Kyle Busch started on pole, and led the first segment of the race. During green flag pitstops, Busch was caught speeding while entering. The penalty was compounded by a dropped right rear tire lug nut. Busch came out in 23rd after the exchange.

Following Kyle Busch’s pitstop fiasco, crew chief Dave Rogers said over the radio,”No emotion right now, no emotion. 100% driving talent.”

Denny Hamlin gained the race led after the green flag stops, keeping the top spot through lap 234. The caution flew for David Reutimann, the third caution of the day. During that round of yellow flag pit stops a miscommunication with crew chief Darin Grubb cost Hamlin the lead as he took four tires while the majority of the field took none or only two.

On the radio, Hamlin and Grubb had this brief conversation.

Hamlin: “What made us switch to four (tires)?”

Grubb: “You said you wanted tires.”

Hamlin: “Oh God.”

Grubb: “My bad. Go kick their ass!”

Kasey Kahne restarted as the leader on lap 240 with Denny Hamlin mired back in 14th. It would 59 laps for Hamlin to make his way back to the front. In the process, he put on a clinic of how to pass, both high and low, seeing only Landon Cassill between he and the leader Kahne with two to go. Hamlin over drove the corner after making his way around Cassill and lost any shot at catching Kahne.

“You can’t overcome the over straightaway we were back,” said Hamlin. “We just didn’t have enough laps was the bottom line.”

Kahne lead to the checkers as Hamlin drove from 14th to within 115 feet of Kahne’s back bumper allowing Kahne to pick up his first win at New Hampshire and second of the season.

“Denny was obviously the best car,” Kahne said. “We had a great Farmers Insurance Chevrolet and had to battle hard the whole race. It doesn’t get us in the Chase yet, but it definitely helps.”

Kasey Kahne now sits in 12th position in the overall standings, but with two wins, is now the leading driver in the Wild Card spot looking toward the Chase for the Cup.

NATIONWIDE:

“Bad” Brad Keselowski was dominant in running of the FW Webb 200 at New Hampshire on Saturday. Keselowski led 131 of the 200 laps in route to his 19th career victory in the Nationwide Series. His win came in part to a late race incident between Kevin Harvick, who was leading at the time, and Amber Cope, who was 33 laps down. Harvick drove up to Cope who was significantly off the race pace. Trapped behind her, and with two more lapped cars on the high side of the track, Harvick lost his momentum, allowing Keselowski to fly up and around all of them.

“It’s not one of ‘those deals,’ it’s somebody who shouldn’t be on the racetrack, who has no clue what they’re doing in the race car,” Harvick told ESPN. “She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can’t hold her helmet. I don’t even know who it is, to tell you the truth.”

Amber Cope capped off a series of Twitter responses with, “I guess he forgot his journey….we just trying to get ahead…girl needs a break.. I know I can hold a helmet..lol”

“I caught a little bit of a break in traffic,” Keselowski said, “but that’s the way it goes.”

“There’s no way of really knowing that. The odds were probably not in my favor,” he said. “You catch good breaks and bad breaks. It was a bad break for us when the yellow came out to begin with.”

After the race, a very worn out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. emerged from his car and quickly hit the ground, passing out briefly on pit road next to his race car. Stenhouse was taken to the infield care center and treated for dehydration and soon released.

#StickinWithKurt at New Hampshire

Kurt Busch 51 at Kentucky in Garage.

(Photo: Jack Dodson’s Phoenix Racing Page, Facebook.com)

The focus is clearly off of Kurt Busch this weekend in New Hampshire. Last week, Busch found victory lane in the Nationwide Series race, then went on to a rough finish in the main event Coke Zero 400 after making contact in the middle of the race.

“I guess I had way too good of a Daytona in 2011 (finishes of 14th and fifth) and just wasn’t meant to have a good one this year,” said a disappointed Busch on the radio during the closing laps. “It’s the law of average, I guess. You just spin the roulette wheel, see who comes out of it and spin it again. That’s how it works, I guess.”

Why is the focus not on Kurt Busch? Seems hard to fathom after the ups and downs of the first half of the season brought joy and agony to both Kurt and brother Kyle. The spotlight has now been turned to another driver, and completely new story line. AJ Allmendinger. Allmendinger failed a random drug test taken during the Kentucky Speedway weekend two weekends ago. Since then, the focus is all on the Dinger.

Meanwhile, Kurt Busch was on top of the pit box this weekend as he watched brother Kyle struggle in the New Hampshire Nationwide race. The Kyle Busch Motorsports team fought fuel delivery problems in practice and throughout the race resulting in an unfavorable finish for a team that had been streaking with top fives and top tens.

On the Cup side, Kurt finds himself running mid-pack so far this weekend. He posted the 17th best 10-lap average and the Phoenix Racing team seems to be lacking in speed.

Over the past few seasons, New Hampshire has proven to be a track prone to fuel strategy. In my opinion, Kurt Busch and the Phoenix Racing team will need to utilize and optimize the fuel strategy game to get into victory lane.

While the focus is on Allmendinger, Kurt Busch has an opportunity to take a couple of race weekends to focus on his team, and hopefully have limited distractions from outside media. Maybe, just maybe, Phoenix Racing can pull out a surprise victory in that time.

Once again, I’m #StickinWithKurt in New Hampshire.

#StickinWithKurt at Daytona

(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

You all know the story by now. Kurt Busch is driving for the underdog team Phoenix Racing after being fired from Penske Racing at the end of last year for his continual anger issues.  Busch started off strong driving for the James Finch owned team, and even though he had torn up a lot of race cars in the process, was well on his way of rebuilding his reputation. That all hit a bump in the road at the spring Dover race wear Busch’s demons showed their ugly face toward the media once again, leading to a one race suspension for the 2004 Cup Series Champion.

After taking into consideration a unanimous vote by his crew, Finch decided to keep Busch behind the wheel of his Phoenix Racing Chevrolets. At Sonoma, Busch took advantage of his second chance with Finch by posting a very strong third place finish in a race where he was in contention for the win.

The Phoenix crew said it was the talent and passion that Kurt Busch brings to the table which swings their votes in favor of the driver. After Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Daytona, the passion really showed it’s face on all the face’s of the team as Kurt Busch drove a beaten and battered car into victory lane. Busch survived a late race malee which took out many race contenders, including brother Kyle Bush, Kurt’s drafting partner. In the end, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. found himself in second, pushing Busch to the win. In victory lane, a very emotional Kurt Busch jumped into the arms of his very jubilant crew.

“It’s just passion and heart, that’s all I can give,” said Busch. “That’s all I can do right now. To do this for James Finch, this is awesome. To be an underfunded team, to come out only four times a year … it’s amazing to do what we can with a little team and to persevere.”

As Busch was being interviewed by TV in victory lane, one crew member shouted with elation, “But we’ve got Kurt Busch!”

Busch added, “And Ricky Stenthouse, in a Ford, thanks to him, this Chevrolet is in victory lane.”

It’s the time of the underdog. Of all the different venues the NASCAR circuit travels to, there is no larger opportunity for an upset than at Daytona and Talladega. Last night’s race proved that as several “underdogs” crossed the finish line with higher than expected results. Names like Timmy Hill, Johanna Long, Mike Bliss and Danny Efland found themselves at the top of the results page.

With that, Daytona is a fine place to have Kurt Busch as my pick for the win. He, and the same crew from last night, will race a bright orange number 51 on the high banks of Daytona, and have a 100% equal shot at sweeping the weekend.

Once again, and until he snags a victory in the Cup Series, I’m #StickinWithKurt.

 

(Photo: NASCARMedia.com)

@DennyHamlin: IT’S OFFICIAL. I’ve signed an extension with @JoeGibbsRacing. Happy to know where my future is. Excited for tonight and beyond with my team.

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