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26-30: The predictions that inspire hatemail

26. 0-Mike Bliss
The Case For: Apparently NetZero is, in fact, paying the bills.
The Case Against: Jack Sprague, Ward Burton, etc.
Fun Fact: NBC is developing a Saturday morning series for him: Good Morning, Mike Bliss.
27. 07-Dave Blaney
The Case For: Hard Liquor=Hard Driving.
The Case Against: You can’t fool us—its still the 30 car.
Fun Fact: Even Dave now believes that he’s a talented driver.
28. 22-Scott Wimmer
The Case For: Finally had that ear problem taken care of.
The Case Against: Only appeared in one episode of Nascar 360, and STILL looked like the biggest wuss there.
Fun Fact: Bill Davis has lost Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Ward Burton, and Dodge—what’s up with this guy?
29. 40-Sterling Marlin
The Case For: Don’t call it a comeback.
The Case Against: Because it won’t be a comeback.
Fun Fact: Please keep reading.
30. 10-Scott Riggs
The Case For: Joined by Murtaugh as car chief.
The Case Against: Still can’t lick that NesQuik addiction.
Fun Fact: Valvoline owns 10% of MBV and, by extension, 5% of Scott Riggs.

Tomorrow—spots 31-35


1000 HITS!

Late last night (or very early this morning), The Outside Groove passed 1,000 hits. Thanks to all the readers who’ve made it possible. And no, I’m not gonna make like Carmelo Anthony and thank myself, but thanks to all the drivers who’ve been great sources of material. Thanks to my parents too for being the first two readers. And thanks to Jayski for being my news source. Of course, I also have a huge thanks to Doug from The Pits, who gave me my start!Tomorrow—the preview continues



Rusty “Hot Rod” Wallace vs. Ryan “The Mailman” Newman
“The Ruckus at the Raceshop”
(Undercard: “The Gambler” Brendan Gaughan vs. Travis “Kvazy” Kvapil)
As the Nascar world prepares for the biggest fight since Harvick vs. Kenseth II, promoter Don King had this to say at the fight’s first press conference:
“This will undoubtedly be the most fisticuffable fight the world of Nascar has EVER seen! The two pugilists of the gas pedal, the combatants of the carburetors, the destroyinators of the Dodges, will go head to head, toe to toe, CAR to CAR in the ring! Available for only $59.99 ONNNNNLY on Pay Per Vieeeeeeew!”
Elder combatant Rusty Wallace had this to say about the upcoming fight:
“Why can’t Ryan help me out? I ask him to tell me how he qualifies so well, he says no. I ask him to let me get ahead at Martinsville, he says no. I ask him to let me have a night with his wife, he says no! Why can’t he see that I’m the boss? I’m the one holding the water bottle here! ME! MEEEEEEEE! Respect! Respect! Respect!
Opponent Ryan Newman was brief in his comments:
“I’ll punch him in the mouth so hard his BROTHER will shut up”.



21-25: Borrrrringggg

21. 88-Dale Jarrett
The Case For: Has the full support of Robert Yates’ mustache.
The Case Against: Car both looks and runs like crap.
Fun Fact: Giving into peer pressure, will run the Nascar Craftsman Truck series this year.
22. 11-Jason Leffler
The Case For: 8 paint schemes? He’s GOTTA be good!
The Case Against: Listed in team directory as “placeholder”.
Fun Fact: After being fired by his Busch team, had Gene Haas’ thumbs broken.
23. 15-Michael Waltrip
The Case For: Nascar runs four points races with restrictor plates.
The Case Against: He’s annoying as hell.
Fun Fact: Nothing about Michael Waltrip is fun.
24. 21-Ricky Rudd
The Case For: Wood Brothers Racing is one of Nascar’s most powerful teams.
The Case Against: The above quote was from 1968.
Fun Fact: Instead of being told to “keep it real”, Ricky tells everyone to “keep it genuine”. Ricky’s quite senile.
25. 25-Brian Vickers
The Case For: 25 in 25? Could it be a sign?
The Case Against: Did a commercial in which his teammates had more airtime than him.
Fun Fact: This year, and GMAC switch spots on the car. I’m the only one in the world that knows (or cares) about this…INCLUDING Brian Vickers.

As we head into the weekend (no Nascar or football, it SUCKS), we take a quick break from the preview for two other articles. Then on Monday we head to spots 26 and on, all the way to Friday.



16-20: Disappointment and Indigestion

16. 19-Jeremey Mayfield
The Case For: Snuck into the Chase in 2004, surprising everyone (including the dogs).
The Case Against: This year, security will be ready to keep him out.
Fun Fact: If one more person asks if his car has a Hemi, his ears are going to bleed.

17. 01-Joe Nemechek
The Case For: Martha’s on his side!
The Case Against: He’s Joe Nemechek.
Fun Fact: Due to bureaucratic bid processes, MB2 paid $75 for a lug nut last year.

18. 2-Rusty Wallace
The Case For: Last year before unemployment in the broadcasting field.
The Case Against: Will most likely be shot by Ryan Newman before the year is out.
Fun Fact: Huh huh huh…number two huh huh huh (by special guest Butt-Head)

19. 99-Carl Edwards
The Case For: No longer forced to eat Superchips.
The Case Against: Crippling spinal problems due to backflips.
Fun Fact: Since he missed out on hard liquor, Carl and Jack Roush are working on the next risqué sponsor…NORML!

20. 6-Mark Martin
The Case For: If the Red Sox won the championship, why not Mark?
The Case Against: Heavy cars due to frequent changes in paint schemes.
Fun Fact: Still would rather have that WD Brand steak.

Tomorrow—spots 21-25



11-15: Teetering on the brink of the Chase…or DOOOOOM!

11. 31-Jeff Burton
The Case For: Finally has a sponsor, due to the fact that Cingular had to sponsor him or leave the sport entirely.
The Case Against: Ward won’t stop calling.
Fun Fact: This year Jeff joins Ryan Newman in fighting the monolith that is Nextel.
12. 29-Kevin Harvick
The Case For: Its an odd-numbered year—a fact Harvick fans won’t shut up about.
The Case Against: How long till he picks a fight with Dave Blaney?
Fun Fact: Kevin hears loud whipping noises wherever he goes.
13. 9-Kasey Kahne
The Case For: Evernham now delivers the crappy motors to Petty Enterprises.
The Case Against: Less time with Schmuck=more pressure.
Fun Fact: The Dodge fandom timeline: Bill ElliottàSterling MarlinàRyan NewmanàKasey Kahne
14. 16-Greg Biffle
The Case For: Has Kirk Schelmerdine acting as a decoy on the track.
The Case Against: Will have about 14 primary sponsors this year.
Fun Fact: Would’ve never survived the Battle of Bunker Hill (Can YOU get the obscure reference? If so, send me an email—you’ll win nothing but satisfaction…sweet sweet satisfaction).
15. 41-Casey Mears
The Case For: No longer driving a pink car.
The Case Against: Has to listen to Sterling’s stories about the “good ole days”
Fun Fact: Has been shot 17 times in the chest (take THAT 50 Cent).

Tomorrow—spots 16-20



6-10: You’ll find their stuff at Wal-Mart

6. 20-Tony Stewart
The Case For: He’s like Robby Gordon with actual talent.
The Case Against: He’s completely insane.
Fun Fact: Combined with boyhood hero A.J. Foyt to create the “World’s Longest Argument”.
7. 97-Kurt Busch
The Case For: He’s the defending champ for cryin’ out loud.
The Case Against: All the GOOD equipment goes to Ricky Craven.
Fun Fact: Look for Kurt to wear a velvet purple racing suit to promote new sponsor Crown Royal.
8. 42-Jamie McMurray
The Case For: He was Kasey Kahne before Kasey Kahne was Kasey Kahne.
The Case Against: Has to help Rusty draft.
Fun Fact: Jamie’s owner, Chip Ganassi, closely resembles that guy who manages the Best Buy in town.
9. 18-Bobby Labonte
The Case For: Has Wellburtrin XL at his disposal.
The Case Against: Yearly visits to MBNA headquarters in Delaware a real drag.
Fun Fact: Now referring to Bobby Labonte as Joe Gibbs’ quarterback is an insult.
10. 38-Elliott Sadler
The Case For: Would have the coolest looking championship merchandise ever.
The Case Against: Looks like he stepped out of a crappy California emo band.
Fun Fact: If Elliott Sadler’s mom married Bill Elliott, he’d be heir to the Bill Elliott Awesome Beef Jerky fortune! (gotcha)
Tomorrow—spots 11-15



1-5: The cream of the cream of the crop
1. 48-Jimmie Johnson
The Case For: Has Hendrick power…or is that Childress power…or is it finally running on hydrogen?
The Case Against: The lingering curse of Mike Skinner.
Fun Fact: If he wins the championship, 25% of the winnings go to Brooke Gordon, and 25% goes to Honda.
2. 8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The Case For: Has the support of Tony Stewart, one of Nascar’s calmest and most well-balanced drivers.
The Case Against: Lack of time due to commitments of appearing in commercials for Michael Waltrip’s sponsors.
Fun Fact: His goatee is on loan to Martin Truex.
3. 12-Ryan Newman
The Case For: No longer has the advice of Rusty Wallace to depend on.
The Case Against: Team has already written in a 43rd place finish at Daytona…IN INK!
Fun Fact: Recently acquired Bobby Labonte’s haircut, circa 1992, at a charity auction.
4. 24-Jeff Gordon
The Case For: Now the elder statesman of Hendrick Racing (seriously!)
The Case Against: Charged with making Kyle Busch marketable.
Fun Fact: After this year, look for Jeff Gordon to go to Formula One…to see a race. This comment made Brian France mess himself.
5. 17-Matt Kenseth
The Case For: He’s the TOP Ford driver.
The Case Against: He’s the top FORD driver.
Fun Fact: The media frenzy over Kenseth’s battle with Kevin Harvick proves that Nascar is REALLY starved for a big story.

Tomorrow—spots 6-10.



Tomorrow your humble author starts a brand new job. What better time for a preview of the 2005 season? For the next two weeks, I’ll post where I think Nascar’s stars (and Hermie Sadler) will finish in the points, in groups o’ 5. Everyone else does a preview, but mine’s the only one with a money-back guarantee. That’s right, if any of my predictions are wrong, I’ll personally refund your subscription rate of $0.00 immediately. I’ll just need your email address. And if you start to get emails titled “gET $5000 eVERY dAY wORKING fROM hOMME!” its just a coincidence.


Green Receives Monies for Two Chickens from Petty

As a reward for a better-than expected run during early year testing, driver Jeff Green was presented with “double chicken money” from his employer, Nascar legend Richard Petty.
“Normally I get money that would afford me to purchase ONE chicken, but we were so dialed in, I’ll be able to procure TWO chickens, rather than one!”, a grateful Green explained. “This bonus allows me to eat twice as much that I usually would, thus providing me with positive reinforcement.”
The payment, equal to $5.51 multiplied by two (or $10.02), is not often doled out by the demanding Petty. The so-called King of Nascar only uses the “double chicken money” as the highest reward for his drivers.
“Jeff’s had a great run here at Daytona—we’ve finally found an engine”, an ebullient Petty explained. “We have a legitimate shot to crack the top 10 in one of the Dual races, which would put us in the hunt for a top 20 in the 500.”
When informed that typical Nascar driver bonuses are in excess of $10,000, a crestfallen Green replied “I know—believe me, I know.”
Kyle Petty’s ponytail was unavailable for comment.


Another "Weird Mike" Mackler Song Theater Presentation

From the good folks at "Bowling for Soup", here's a Nascar-ized version of "1985":

Mike has just hit the wall
He never had it all
NBC’s such a pain
And Fox needs Dave Despain
His sport went out the door
With the rise of 24
Leaves him feelin’ gassed
What happened to the past?

He was Mr. Nascar
He was the go-to-guy
He had all the diecast
That Action had to buy
Now everyone’s a fan, everybody loves “The Man”
Now he’s an average jack
And he…wishes…THEY’D BRING BACK

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin
Gordon was just startin’
There was Harry, and Ernie
Everyone hated Rusty
He blends in on Webboards
Now just amongst the hoards
Cuz he's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1995

He's seen all the classics
He’s heard every line
“I was just rattlin’ his cage”
“Hey Cart’ll be just fine!”
He loved Rockingham
Not a big Chicago fan
Yes its sad but true,
Even rooted for DW

Where’s Johnny Benson, we’d thought he’d go far
And who's the other guy that's racing in the Tide car
Why did GM flee, with the Grand Prix?
Why did they get rid of old guys, old tracks
On North Wilkesboro was

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin
Gordon was just startin’
There was Harry, and Ernie
Everyone hated Rusty
He blends in on Webboards
Now just amongst the hoards
Cuz he's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1995

He hates this, but can’t leave
How did Michael Waltrip get on TV?
And why the hell is Jarrett in a BROWN CAR?
Commercials, stop, Stop
And bring back

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin
Gordon was just startin’
There was Harry, and Ernie
Everyone hated Rusty
He blends in on Webboards
Now just amongst the hoards
Cuz he's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1995


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Impersonator Foiled

In a major coup for identity theft prevention, authorities shut down a man claiming to be Dale Earnhardt Jr. on various message boards across the internet.
The man, who went under the clever guise of DaleJuni0r, was apprehended in his parents' spare room last night.
"This gentleman had been posing as Dale Juni0r, deceiving hundreds of loyal Nascar fans", arresting officer Tony Reede explained. "We were able to zero in on him by reading his profile, then tracking his diecast purchases for the past 4 months.
The perpetrator, who's real name has not yet been released, used a lethal combination of a DSL line and an innate knowledge of the real Earnhardt Jr.'s career to fool many a web surfer.
"Whenever someone asked him a personal question, like where he'd finished in a race years ago, boom, he'd have the answer", Reede said. "We think he was using the Nascar almanac, though we cannot be sure yet."
Earnhardt Jr. was vacationing in Montana and was unable for comment, though his team released the following statement: "It does our hearts good to see this thug go behind bars. Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks of becoming DaleJuni0r1--the price is just too much to pay."
GordonRulz and Stewart2020 remain at large.



Before switching to the new qualifying format, which is too boring and irrelevant to discuss here, Nascar considered several other ideas as well. Take a gander at these proposals:
THE CALL: Driver who most needs to win that week gets the poll (source: crackpot conspiracy theorists)
SPONSORS-A-PLENTY: Car with the most primary sponsors to please starts first (source: Robby Gordon and Carl Edwards)
IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS: Most dramatic/captivating team starts up front (source: Fox News)
PICK A NUMBER: Poll position drawn at random (source: Kirk Shelmerdine)
AGE BEFORE BEAUTY: Oldest drivers on the front row (source: some crotchety old guy who still wears a Bill Elliott Coors hat)
FOR THE KIDS: Youngest drivers on the front row (source: Brian France)
THE SQUEAKY WHEEL: Driver who complains the most starts first (source: Rusty Wallace)


Hall of Fame Racing sets 2024 Start Date

After years of delays, the much-anticipated Hall of Fame Racing Nascar team has announced a “firm, yet flexible” rookie season of 2024.
“We’ve had some setbacks, but we feel with almost 20 years to prepare, we’ll be ready to run for some wins in 2024”, team principle/“Coach” guest star Troy Aikman announced at their 28th press conference to date.
The team will continue to receive tech and engine support from Hendrick Motorsports, contingent on the team existing two decades from now. A search for a driver and primary sponsor is expected to begin sometime in early 2014.
“We believe that by 2024, we’ll be able to find a strong driver or, if feasible, a robot driver with some robo-Busch Series experience.” Aikman continued. “Also, we’re considering turning (team co-owner) Roger Staubach into a cyborg.
Insiders predict that the team will be ready to roll 19 years from now, though Nascar itself could be taken over by damn dirty IRL drivers!!! Damn you! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!


3—The Special Edition DVD

ESPN brings to you the all-new Special Edition DVD of 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. This is the DVD that will make the originally DVD worthless!!! Just check out these awesome extra features…
Deleted Scenes:
--Musical Number, “I’m gonna race that car!” remixed by Missy Elliott
--45 minute-long scene of actors punching a giant Fox Sports logo
--Jake Elder telling Dale “Playing MY game is what GOT YOU HERE!”
--Dale’s career, 1988-1997
--Cameo by Mike Skinner as “Race fan #2” (non-speaking role)
Alternate Tracks:
--Bitter Commentary by Darrell Waltrip and Geoffrey Bodine
--French, Spanish, and Ward Burton translations
--How did you screw THAT up, starring JD Stacey
--4—the unproduced sequel on the career of Mike Wallace
Easter Eggs
--The director explains why there’s a disturbing sex scene in a movie about Dale Earnhardt
--Whineyvision—watch as over-obsessed fans tear apart the paint schemes in the Daytona scene!


"Weird Mike*" Mackler's Music Theater

And now, to the tune of Eric Clapton's legendary "Cocaine", here's the Nascar-ized Version:

If you're too lazy to read, but ya paid for Speed, Despain
If you're tough enough, for his cycle stuff, Despain
He gets raves, hes got faves, 'cause he's Dave...DESPAIN
For the interview show, from the plain stu-di-o, Despain
Where the legends ain't dead, and you'll get a bobblehead, Despain
He gets raves, hes got faves, 'cause he's Dave...DESPAIN
You remember his way, on RPM 2day, Despain
"Only Sunday night?" Man that ain't right, Despain
He gets raves, hes got faves, 'cause he's Dave...DESPAIN
He gets raves, hes got faves, 'cause he's Dave...DESPAIN

*I couldn't use "Weird Al" Mackler, because my dad's name is Al, and he's not weird


2004 Final Exam Part the Second

Part III Fill in the Blank:
1. The drive by locals to bar Nascar from building near Seattle was spearheaded by loser 70's actress _______ Evans.

2. Tony Stewart delivered a verbal _____ slap to Darrell Waltrip.

3. David Stremme is approximately 4 feet ___ inches tall.

4. When Jeff Gordon realized that he would've been the champ under the old points system, he felt _____.

5. Robby Gordon's race team will go out of business after __ races.

Part IV Essay
1. Explain how changing social norms and shifting gender roles resulted in Jeremy Mayfield's wife giving her seat to their dogs.

2. Do you know anyone who watched Pit Bull on a regular basis? Anyone? Anyone?

3. If Kirk Shelmerdine enters a race, and nobody's around to watch him, does his car make a sound? And if so, does it sound like a dying airplane propeller?

4. Who looked more like a bum--Elliot Sadler or Brendan Gaughan? Discuss.

5. Explain the rookie points system in 20 words or less.


2004--Final Exam

OK Class, you've all had ample time to read over the assigned 2004 races, now its time for your exam. Answer them to the best of your ability, and remember to use a no. 2 pencil. Ready? Good luck and begin.

PART I Multiple Choice:
1. Who won this year's Budweiser Shootout?
a) who cares? b) does it matter? c) nobody watched it d) all of the above

2. What was most surprising about Derrike Cope this year?
a) qualifying 4th at Darlington b) actually racing this season c) no mustache d) he was nekkid

3. Which phrase was repeated said by Darrell Waltrip this year?
a) boogity boogity boogity b) pull them belts tight one more time c) UNbelievable d) i've sold my soul to a heartless Japanese company so that I can try in vain to stay in the spotlight

4. Besides New York, where else did Nascar attempt to build a racetrack?
a) the Pacific Northwest b) Toronto c) Guam d) Monaco

5. What reason did Kevin Harvick give for firing Matt Crafton?
a) 4th in points just doesn't cut it 'round these parts b) he made me look bad c) made fun of my smiley face logo d) the wife made me do it

PART II True or False:
1. Ricky Rudd raced this year True False

2. NBS 24/7 ruined Casey Atwood's career True False

3. Kasey Kahne tweezes his eyebrows True False

4. Ron Fellows counts as a minority True False

5. Michael Waltrip will be fired after 2006 True True

OK, break time--the 2nd Half of the test comes tomorrow


Supreme (Court) Nascar

The Supreme Court doesn't hear just any case, oh no. This vaunted group of nine learned men and women hear only the most important, pressing, and precedent setting cases. Thankfully those include lots of Nascar-related lawsuits. Here's a rundown of this year's docket, inspired (ok, ripped off) from America the Book.

Fans of Nascar v. France
Fans of Nascar (FON, pronoucned "Fon") try to have Nascar chairman Brian France ousted from his position. FON's main defense "he sucks", is met with stauch opposition from France "shut up". France wins a unanimous decision after providing Clarence Thomas with Richmond pit passes.

John Doe v. Joe Smith
Two philosophical fans (names withheld), debate if, in fact, when the green flag drops, the bullshit stops. Exhaustive demonstrations and depositions result in a 5-3, confirming the slogan to be true. Breyer abstains.

Rhimes v. Rucker
Country singer LeAnn Rhimes and Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker visit the high court to determine who can sing the national anthem at the Coca-Cola 600. Case is dropped once Kelly Clarkson becomes available.

Loose v. Tight
Delayed indefinately after testimony by Benny Parsons went over standard 14-day limit.


Casting Couch--Speed Racer the Movie

These days, it seems like everyone's making a Nascar movie--Lindsay Lohan, Barry Pepper, even Dennis Quaid (who most people think is dead). Speed Racer, the loveable, almost incoherant cartoon of the 1960's, is being remade by...Vince Vaughn (yeah, I'm disappointed too). But Mr. Dodgeball won't have to look too far for subject matter--Nextel Cup has a Speed Racer-ian drama of its own going on right now! Lets take care of the casting, shall we?

Speed Racer--Kyle Busch (#5, young and a bit odd looking)
Racer X--Kurt Busch (Speed's "long lost" brother, ugly car, unlikable champ)
Pops Racer--Rick Hendrick (former racer, knows about another Pops)
Mom Racer--no one (when did she actually do anything in the show?)
Trixie--Kasey Kahne (both love wearing makeup)
Sparky--Geoff..rey Bodine (hangs around, kinda annoying, wish he'd go away)
Spritle--Bobby Hamilton Jr. (always getting into trouble, boyish charm)
Chim-Chim--Vince Vaughn (in the part he was born to play!)


Douglas Ladd Announces Retirement

DISCLAIMER: This was my tribute to Doug, the guy who runs The Pits Online. If you're not a member there, go now so you can get the joke!
In front of a stunned crowd in downtown Milwaukee yesterday, cartoonist Douglas “Doug” Ladd announced his retirement from fulltime drawing at the conclusion of the 2004 cartooning season.
“Its been a full career”, a teary-eyed Ladd explained, “but I think that I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do. Besides, Tony Stewart has my home address now, and is threatening to sue.”
From humble beginnings as a graphic artist, Ladd followed his dreams of obscure internet stardom. Faced with going up against the monolithic Smithtoons, he decided to go it alone, creating his own website from scratch.
“We got a great group of guys together—Me, Donnie,…uh, Me—and put together a site that we could be proud of. Plus, its not TrackLaughs, which is a big bonus.”
Ladd has cited the recent strains of competing full time for the Cartoon Cup as a major reason in retiring from full-time competition. In addition, such pressing needs as cleaning out his garage and sealing the driveway loom large on his calendar.
Ladd also reiterated that he will not be leaving the drawing world entirely, running a partial schedule in 2005. The “Changing Pens” tour will stop at selected dates, and feature such special paint schemes as “Naked Sterling”, “Beat up Vickers”, and “I Can’t Cope”.
Ladd’s teammate, Mike “Outside Groove” Mackler, declined direct comment, though his spokesperson said that, “while its sad to see Doug go, maybe he’ll be replaced by that sexy, sexy Derrike Cope”.

Hunting Christmas Elves with Ward Burton
Speed Channel airs NBS 24/7 Special: Schmuck for the Holidays
Woman licks Kasey’s Kahne



The 2004 NASCAR Yearbook/The 2004 Outside Groove Yearbook
In conjunction with Nascar, The Outside Groove hands out its annual superlatives to the “class of 2004.” Principle Helton also wanted me to remind you all that he DID see you throwing paper airplanes at the banquet, and he’s not going to put up with it.

Valedictorian: Kurt Busch
Salutatorian: Jeff Gordon

Best Dressed: Kasey Kahne
Best Undressed: Sterling Marlin

Most Likely to Succeed: Kyle Busch
Most Likely to Receed: Jimmy Spencer’s “hair”

Class Clown: Kenny Wallace
Class Frown: Bobby Hamilton Jr.

Most Active: Ken Schrader
Most REactive: Robby Gordon

Most Talkative: Michael Waltrip
Most Repetitive: Benny Parsons

Quietest: Terry Labonte
Quietest Season: Kevin Harvick

Best Teacher: Mr. Elliott
Worst Friend: Rusty Wallace

Most Popular: Junior
Guy all the Nerds Hate: Junior

Wittiest Student: Doug Ladd
Most Annoying: Mike Mackler

In Next Week’s Issue:
Atwood bitch-slaps Fitz for back pay
No one suspects Brian Vickers of steroid use
Earnhardt fans thankful new movie is better than “A Season on the Brink”


Jamie McMurray Completes Lifelong Dream of Winning 11th Place

Dateline: Just after the season ended
Children everywhere grow up with their own dreams—to be a cowboy, an astronaut, to win the World Series. Only a select few pursue those dreams into adulthood, and fewer still come close to succeeding. However, there are some, however infrequent, who make their dreams reality—those same dreams they acted out with their Hot Wheels on the living room floor.
Jamie McMurray lived out his dream this year. He finished 11th.
“My Lord, its amazing what can happen with hard work, dedication, and the right group of guys. This goes to show that if you follow your dreams, you too can make them happen”, an ebullient McMurray exclaimed at the 11th place banquet, held at the East Mooresville Comfort Inn Conference room B. “The Havoline’s gonna be flowin’ tonight!”
McMurray, one of NASCAR’s much-heralded “young guns”, used a combination of top-tens, top-twenties, and penalties to clinch his 11th place spot, which comes replete with a cash bonus and a trophy from Nextel (resembling a broken Motorola antenna). However, this year wasn’t without its challenges.
“Going into Richmond, we had a fighting shot to enter the Chase for the Cup. However, I guess the racing gods smiled down on us and gave us a dropped cylinder! Had it not been for that stroke of luck, I wouldn’t be preparing to ride the 4th—yes FOURTH—float in my hometown’s Boxing Day parade!”
McMurray says his team is planning for a repeat of this year’s performance, and hopes that Sterling remembers to bring the party balls to the after-party in the Comfort Inn Kaleidoscope Lounge.

In Next Week’s Issue:
Chris Myers revealed to be a robot…with nice hair
Ken Schrader enters Lakeland Elementary’s Frog Hop-a-lympics
European Casino sponsorship of Robby Gordon results in the Monte Carlo Monte Carlo


Michael Jordan signs with ppc Racing

In a move that Ford Racing executives said will bring "increased interest and diversity to Nascar", ppc Racing announced the signing of basketball great Michael Jordan to their stable of drivers for 2005.
"Mr. Jordan, while possessing no wrote racing experience or skills, has a name which even the most staunch Nascar traditionalists will admit should lead to entitiled success" explained Ford executive Reed Heakin. "Michael succeeded in baseball, he succeeded in Washington with the Wizards, and he'll succeed here."
While it remains unknown how Nascar will accomidate a man of such tall stature, and how he will obtain his Nascar license, ppc Racing owner Greg Pollex apparently hasn't been fazed by the obstacles to come.
"With Michael here, the sponsorship opportunities are endless. We've already lined up Gatorade, Hanes, and Ball Park Franks. We also here that Michael does business with some shoe company, I think its Nike. Maybe we'll give them a call."
Jordan joins a long list of former athletes who've come to Nascar following retirement. However, other athletes, such as Bryant Stith, Jim Kelly, and Brett Favre, joined the sport as owners, not actual drivers. Nascar has welcomed such athletes, though it has barred Jerry Glanville from its events for the next 35 years.
When asked for comment, Michael Jordan responded, "huh?"


Nascar Cinema—Holiday Preview

Dateline: December
With the holidays fast approaching, Hollywood’s starting to release its top Nascar-themed movies. Here’s a preview:
The Polar Express: Brian France (Shane McMahon) finally gets his wish to hold Cup races in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Medicine Hat
Garden State: Martin Truex, Jr. (Fred Durst) returns to Wall Township for thanksgiving—but when will his relatives stop hitting him up for money?
The Grudge: Tony Stewart (as himself) plots revenge against Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Robby Gordon, Ryan Newman, Douglass Ladd, etc. etc. (warning—movie is 5 hours long)
Ladder 49: Can Ken Schrader (Homer Simpson) help his team climb out of the “field filler” blues? More importantly, can it be done while racing 12 times a week?
Sideways: Robby Gordon (John Stamos) describes his non-roadcourse career.
National Treasure: Will Mike Helton’s (Ron Jeremy) plan to put the entire purse for the Daytona 500 at the finish line make for a more climactic finish?
The Machinist: The garage crews of the NBS 24/7 teams wonder: where are our residuals?
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Ryan Newman (Moe Howard) examines his engine program
The Life Aquatic: Story of the only driver who doesn’t have a sponsorship agreement with a beer, soda, or sports drink

In Next Week’s Column:
National Association for Majority Race Fans: “Everything’s Fine”
Darlington Speedway airlifted to suburban Seattle
Proud Americans boycott Toyota, Herbie the Love Bug


Mark Martin Addresses his Fans on Retirement

Dateline--Mark Martin's retirement (obviously)
Issued by Pfizer, makers of Viagra
“Hello. Its been a great career here in Nextel Cup, and I feel that, after all those races and all those memories, its time to move on. I just wanted to thank all the sponsors, crew members, and especially the fans for making it such an incredible career.”
WARNING: Mark Martin’s retirement is not for everyone. Before you try Mark Martin’s retirement, ask your doctor if Mark Martin’s retirement is right for you. Those with a pre-existing heart condition should not use Mark Martin’s retirement. In addition, there is an increased chance of failing health associated with Mark Martin’s retirement if the user drives a Chevy.
Mark Martin’s retirement has a low occurrence of side-effects, which include (but are not limited to) kidney disorders, the shakes, rickets, having to talk regularly with Kurt Busch, reverting to a metabolism of Jimmy Spencer, and dry mouth. Until you know the effects of Mark Martin’s retirement, you should not operate heavy machinery.
Mark Martin’s retirements lasting more than 3 to 4 hours, while rare, require immediate medical assistance. Mark Martin’s retirements lasting more than 3 to 4 years probably mean that you are Mark Martin, and shouldn’t have to worry.
Pfizer is not responsible for any health problems incurred while on Mark Martin’s retirement. For this reason, if you cannot find a new driver to root for in 2006, don’t come whining to us.
In next week’s issue:
Kenseth to Roush: Maybe we SHOULD work on our qualifying program…nahhhh
Tim Fedewa gets 24th primary sponsor
Kvapil goes Kvazy


An Editorial—Bush No, New Polycarbonates, Yes!

By Jeff Gordon
Dateline: Mere weeks before the 2004 Election
Hi, I’m Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevy. Recently reports have come out that, out of the 10 Chase for the Nextel Cup Drivers, I was the only one to not support President Bush’s campaign for reelection. This is true, and I am writing to you, the internet faithful, to formally give my support to DuPont’s revolutionary new product, Promaz!
Promaz is a revolutionary new compound that drastically reduces construction times in commercial and residential buildings. By combining the strength of wood with the durability of vinyl siding, it provides a security not found in other building materials OR Presidential candidates.
Developed by the good people at DuPont, Promaz can help YOUR bottom line—it comes in at over 15% cheaper than most building materials. In addition, it has a 30-year guaranteed warrantee—what candidate will make that kind of promise? I’ll tell you who—Promaz.
There has been much controversy lately about the mudslinging that has gone on through the media. Let me assure you that the claims being made by President Bush, Dick Cheney, USG Sheetrock, and Owens-Corning are baseless lies. Promaz is a product made by Americans, for Americans, and will surely enrich wealthy Americans, like my bosses.
In conclusion, be sure to cast your vote this November for Promaz building compounds, from DuPont. I’m Jeff Gordon, and I will approve this message once the check clears.


Derrike Cope “Announces” Retirement

Dateline: Right after Rusty Wallace announces his Retirement
Following in the footsteps of Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, and Terry Labonte, Nascar driver Derrike Cope has decided/been forced to stop racing after this season.
“Its been a great career—well, at least 1990 was great.” Cope explained to a crowd of two crew members, a janitor, and Robin Miller’s second cousin. “I accomplished lots of great feats in my career—winning the Daytona 500, um…winning at Dover with that orange car, uh…winning the Daytona 500—did I say that already?”
Cope’s Nascar brethren had mixed reactions to his retirement.
“Wait, Cope’s still racing? Man, I thought he retired back in ‘99” said driver Kurt Busch. “I hope he saved up some of that Avacor money, ‘cause its not like he’s getting into broadcasting like me.”
Prominent driver/ball bearing pitchman Jeff Burton explained how “…its tough for a driver to make it the sport now without a sponsor. I did it this year, and Derrike doesn’t even have a wealthy owner, dozens of associate sponsors, a winning history, an experienced crew chief, or talent.”
Cope’s media relations director, an as yet unseen Derrikina Cope, issued a press release on a slightly used Hardee’s napkin, outlining Cope’s future plans.
“Derrike wanted to spend more time with his family, reconnect with his old friends, and, most importantly, regrow his mustache. Without the facial hair, Mr. Cope believes himself to be only half a man.”
Cope’s team, Mach One Racing, has yet to name a replacement, though they have already contacted such luminaries as Geoffrey Bodine, Billy Standridge, and “one of the Sauters…the big one, I think.”

In Next Weeks Issue:
Atkins Diet Results in Slim Daddy’s South Boston Speedway
Point-Counterpoint: Would Superman eat Superchips?
Nascar expands to Pacific Northwest; Mariners still suck


Robby Gordon punished with shunning, icy stares

Robby Gordon punished with shunning, icy stares
Dateline: Fall Dover, 2004
In a long awaited announcement, Nascar President Mike Helton announced that Robby Gordon will not be formally punished for his actions during the Nextel Cup race at New Hampshah Speedway. Instead, he will receive an informal array of glares, eye rolling, and cold shoulders.
“Its become obvious to us that the standard 25 point penalty won’t work in the new Nextel Cup Chase for the Championship”, Helton explained. “Instead, we’ve decided on a more incisive route for the other Mr. Gordon.”
Gordon’s penalty is, by nature, loose in definition, though it has started to take affect this weekend at Dover. The first such change was at the first Cup practice on Friday, when drivers greeted Gordon with monosyllabic greetings such as “Hi” and “Yo”.
“Robby might not be hurting on the outside, but he’s definitely crushed on the inside” said Jeremy Mayfield, one of the recipients of Gordon’s gaffe. “For instance, on Saturday Nascar had the PA Announcer SPECIFICALLY forget to introduce him for the Busch race. That’ll teach him to mess with the contenders.”
Other penalties have included a refusal of entrance for Gordon into the complementary Dover Downs Buffet, prolonged glares from teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, and a pin placed on the seat of the 31 Chevy. Greg Biffle offered to have the National Guard boo Gordon at the final nine races of the year, but Nascar has yet to act on the offer.
When asked about his take on the situation, Robby Gordon gave us the finger, then walked away. Seen later, he was sitting in the corner of the garage, with a single tear running down his cheek.

In Next Week’s Issue:
Turn around your career in 26 races or less! By Casey Mears
Men’s Fashion with Handsome Harry Gant
Kerry (Earnhardt) drops (Carl) Edwards as running mate (in Talladega draft)


“Orange Revolution” Defeats Nascar’s ruling Party

“Orange Revolution” Defeats Nascar’s ruling Party
In an outcome that has sent shockwaves throughout the motorsports world, opposition leader Tony Stewartko scored a decisive victory in the 2005 Nascar elections over former ruler Boris Franceavich.
“Today, we have made a step towards the future!” Stewartko told his orange-clad supporters at a rally near the Moorsville Home Depot. “Nascar will move towards a future of aggressive driving, fair punishment, and NO FIELD FILLERS!”
Stewartko’s win follows a tenuous campaign which saw the ruling Franceavich declared the winner in the first round of elections. However, when it was discovered that Franceavich himself had been in charge of the counting, a recount was ordered. Nascar’s Supreme High Court (aka Mike Helton) allowed for a runoff.
Stewartko’s rabid group of fans, known collectively as the “Orange Revolution”, rushed to obtain diecast cars commemorating Stewarko’s victory. Some suspected that they might be painted-over Jeff Green AOL cars, but these were only suspicions at this time.
Franceavich is expected to challenge the results, and has strong financial backing from Powerade to continue his fight. It is believed that if Stewartko’s victory is upheld, Franceavich will move on to destroy another racing series, most likely IRL.

New ESPN Movie “4: The Jimmy Spencer Story” fails to garner ratings
Travis Kvapil has first awkward silence with Rusty Wallace
Jarrett/Madden album goes platinum in dream/nightmare

This Week:
The above article is new (obviously). Every day this week, I'll post one of my "classic" articles from The Pits Online. Then, at the end o'the week, its another new article. The PERFECT way to fill the void left in your life by Dave Barry. That bastard...


The Outside Groove Copyright 2005 Posted by Hello

Its Coming...

The Outside Groove Debuts at its new home on Monday, January 3rd, 2005. Its the biggest thing since Nomex.