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What Your Favorite Driver Says About You

Here's what you're really saying to the world when you say "_____ is my favorite driver":
(note: _____ is not a real driver, though ... once attempted a race at Riverside)

0--Mike Bliss--"I'm too good for dial-up. And I hate Jeff Gordon."

1--Martin Truex Jr.--"My older brother is a Junior fan."

2--Rusty Wallace--"Its Miller Time for my hot rod to get some respect."

4--Take your pick--"I used to like Ernie Irvan"

5--Kyle Busch--"I like elves. They're grrrreat!"

6--Mark Martin--"I am truly...truly BLESSED to have such a great driver as my favorite. And I have the ability to drown out sponsor jokes."

7--Robby Gordon--"I am Mike Mackler's dad."

8--Dale Earnhardt Jr.--"I think that NBC's coverage of Nascar is just fine."

9--Kasey Kahne--either, "My first car was a '69 Duster", or "Omigawd, Kasey is, like, soooo cute!"

10--Scott Riggs--"I prefer my driver to have a crew cut."

11--Triple threat--"I work for FedEx, and they're listening to my response."

12--Ryan Newman--"I have a college degree in Rusty-hating-ology."

15--Michael Waltrip--"I'm stupid."

16--Greg Biffle--"I enjoy the comedy of Bernie Mac and Rodney Dangerfield. I also think that Jennifer Wilbanks was innocent."

17--Matt Kenseth--"I'm a contractor."

18--Bobby Labonte--"I have the disposable income to collect 12 different special paint scheme 1:24's a year."

19--Jeremy Mayfield--"I'm a cop."

20--Tony Stewart--"Sorry, I don't sign autographs in the pits" (Oops--that's what your favorite driver says TO you)

21--Ricky Rudd--"Eh? Speak up, sonny, my hearin' ain't as good as it used ta be."

22--Scott Wimmer--"I enjoy staring at bulldozers in my spare time."

24--Jeff Gordon--"I became a Nascar fan in the middle-90's. I swear I'm not a front runner, I SWEAR!"

25--Brian Vickers--"I enjoy May-December relationships. And Jon Stewart sucks."

27--Kirk Shelmerdine--"I change my own oil."

29--Kevin Harvick--"It was him or Junior. Man, did I make the wrong choice."

31--Jeff Burton--"I like my rebels BLAND."

32--Bobby Hamilton Jr.--"I'm Bobby Hamilton Sr."

36--Boris Said--"I'm the kind of guy that watches MST3k."

37--Tony Raines--"I'm currently in rehab for online poker addiction."

38--Elliott Sadler--either "I'm a proud Virginian" or "Pretty car! Pretty car!"

40--Sterling Marlin--"Rocky top, rocky top!"

41--Casey Mears--"I used to be a CART fan."

42--Jamie McMurray--"I'm an 18 year old girl. No, seriously, not just online."

43--Jeff Green--"I'm a sadist."

44--Terry Labonte--"I can't let go of the past."

45--Kyle Petty--"I'm that cool guy who's also responsible--like an art teacher."

48--Jimmie Johnson--"I'm also a Jeff Gordon fan. I can't lose!"

49--Kenny Schrader--"I raced against Kenny at Peavly back in '98."

77--Travis Kvapil--"I work at a camera store." (note--based on a true story)

88--Dale Jarrett--"I have a lot of Citgo, Interstate Batteries and Ford Quality Care stuff in my basement."

89--Morgan Shepherd--"Winning is quite overrated."

91--Bill Elliott--"I enjoy Bill Elliott's Awesome Pork Rinds on a very deep level."

97--Kurt Busch--"I like Ford, but don't like popular drivers."

99--Carl Edwards--"I'm a really hot Olympic swimmer."

01--Joe Nemechek--"I know that Joe might only win one race a year. And knowing is half the battle."

07--Dave Blaney--"I'm sleeping one off."


College Orientation

With University classes across this great nation of ours starting up this week, I thought that it was time to chime in with a lesson I know very well--how Nascar fans should adapt to the world of acadamia and alcohol. Here's some pointers I've picked up:

--If you tell someone you're a Nascar fan, expect one of these two responses: "Oh, my dad's really into that" or, "Oh, my uncle's really into that."

--It can be tough to wrestle away control of the tv for Sunday afternoons. I recommend a taser and some duct tape.

--If instead of going out and finding your true self, you're watching Busch Series qualifying on tape delay, its probably time for you to get out more.

--Expect everyone to be "a Tony Stewart fan, because Joe Gibbs is my hero" (DC-area colleges only).

--In case of a fire drill, you don't need to go back to class. Scott Riggs will fill in for you.

--For the ladies--if you're a college-aged girl who's into Nascar, why aren't you dating me?

--And finally, just remember that, with a great college education, you can be the next Chad Little.


Where's Kevin?

Where was Kevin Harvick after his car wrecked during the Sharpie 500?

Was he...

...Trying to restore the North Carolina basketball games he erased by mistake off his TiVo?

...Placing call after call to Roger Penske?

...Trying to get Van Halen back together?

...Placing bets on how many times Benny Parsons would say "UnbeLIVEEE-ABLE"?

...Putting sugar in Richard Childress's gastank?

...Cramming more associate sponsors onto his firesuit?

...Drawing smiley faces?

...or is just really dumb?


Mike Keenan Brought in to Deliver Junior to the Playoffs

In what's being called a last ditch effort by most, DEI has replaced Steve Hmeil with Mike Keenan for the duration of the season. Keenan takes over following tonight's Busch Series race.
"Mike has a proven track record of getting teams to the postseason", DEI exec. Richie Gilmore explained, "and we felt that his abraisive, angry style was just what the doctor ordered."
Counting his NHL stops, this becomes the 67th team that Keenan has worked for. He brings a checkered past, proven success, and a bunch of CD's for his band, Nic and the Nice Guys.
Keenan has issued the following statement about the hiring: "What's important here is that the good folks at DEI figured out that me, and only me, can bring them to the promised land. Crew changes and driver berating starts on Monday."
In a somewhat surprise move, Keenan's mustache, a longtime assistant, has instead agreed to join the staff of the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Bristol "News" and Notes


--Paul Tracey has been talking with HOF Racing about joining up in 2006. Yep, there's nothing that offsets inexperience like inexperience.

--Jeremy Mayfield has been staking his claim as the Minnesota Twins of Nascar--always getting into the playoffs, but with no realistic shot at a championship.

--Jayski announced a partership with Cingular to sponsor his site. Expect him to now charge $29.95 a month to access it, though you can roll that over. (Subject to Terms of Use Agreement).

--Tyler Walker was released by Akins Motorsports this week, with Mike Wallace stepping in for Bristol. Mike Wallace--he's the Greg Sacks of our generation...besides Greg Sacks.

3:1 If Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecks, Bill Weber will refer to it as the "end of his Chase dreams" for the 5th time.
10:1 Rioting will occur in the event of a rainout.
20:1 The entire race will be broadcast without someone mentioning Tony Stewart's Hearse.


I'll Never Sell Out

Now, recently it has come to my attention that certain websites can increase their SEO (Seach Engine Optimization--how high they appear on Google etc.), by putting the names of relevant celebrities on their site. Well, you're not gonna see that here.
I mean, if I want to talk about Dale Earnhardt Jr., then I'm gonna talk about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Anyone who talks about Dale Earnhardt Jr. because Dale Earnhardt Jr. happens to be popular obviously is no expert on Dale Earnhardt Jr. Furthermore, Dale Earnhardt Jr., I'm sure, wouldn't appreciate using the good name of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to promte Dale Earnhardt Jr.-affiliated websites.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. I mean, come on. You're never going to see that here.


Where Does the Money Go?

A returning semi-weekly look at where the sponsorship dollars for your favorite drivers are spent.

This week: Scott Riggs

10% Contract buyout.

6% Incineration of "Front Row Riggs" merchandise.

14% Hypnosis to erase memory of being interviewed by Mike Mackler.

20% Money lost in fantasy racing (Travis Kvapil seemed like a bargin).

14% Conversion of merchandise and equipment from old Valvoline font to new Valvoline font.

14% Tasers to keep back people who can notice minutia like that.

22% R&D to develop a crew to compete with the "Said Heads"--the "Riggs Piggs".


Wizard of Oz...but for Odds

In honor of the most exciting race of the season (sorry Pocono), here's an expanded race odds section for the upcoming Sharpie 500:

EVEN--TNT will focus on the chance of a fight in the pits instead of a lead change.

2:1 You'll mistake an overhead shot of the track at night for a UFO.

5:2 An exciting green-white-checkered finish will be ruined by an also-ran blowing a tire.

7:1 Upon seeing a drop in cautions, Wally Dallenbach will comment that it "just hasn't been the same since Todd Bodine left."

10:1 Benny Parsons will spend the entire race waiting for a quiet moment to break his earth-shattering story--the difference between "loose" and "tight".

35:1 Someone will mention the idea of having a Tennessee-Virginia Tech football game in the infield. Again.

100:1 The entire pre-race will contain no references to Jeff Gordon's fight to make the Chase.

10,000:1 In celebration of his new Busch Series sponsor, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will perform "In the Navy" during pre-race ceremonies.


Fuel Conservation with Jeremy Mayfield

Hi there, I'm Nascar driver Jeremy Mayfield. As you no doubt saw, I won last week's GFS Marketplace 400 in Bed-Stuy, mostly due to my Dodge Charger's superior gas mileage. Well, the folks (actually, its just one folk) at The Ouside Groove asked me to give you some of my gas saving tips in this time of $2.50 unleaded. Here's a few:

--Always use the lowest octane rating your car will accept--only use octane 93 for perfume.

--Lose any extra heavy weight in the car. For instance, I left my dogs at home last week and saved almost 5 miles to the gallon.

--Carpool with your co-workers. However, I'd recommend NOT doing that with people who INSIST on listening to that new Coldplay CD over and over and over again (Kasey, I'm looking in your direction).

--Draft on the highway! Yeah, some people might call it "tailgating", but the fine's only $500 and 20 hours community service.

--Combine trips. For instance, if we just combined all the races into Sunday's run, and awarded the championship based on that, I'd be just fine with it.

--Downsize your ride. Which reminds me, see me go for the Nextel Cup Championship in the #19 Dodge Neon!


Independent Busch Teams Resort to Panhandling

Cup drivers and teams give many reasons for why they run Busch Series races--extra practice, sponsorship exposure, boredom--but they rarely take into account the effects they have on the Nascar Busch Series' regular teams.
However, one only has to walk along the streets of Mooresville or Charlotte to see how hard these Busch teams have been hit.
Owners and drivers alike roam the sidewalks, asking various strangers for spare change. Clad in Nutmeg-produced rags, these teams have had to resort to literally begging for money.
"I used to see joke t-shirts that said 'Will Race for Food'", explained Busch driver David Green. "But lately, that's been the case. Thankfully some tourists gave me some spare change for lunch, but what about dinner?"
Emaciated drivers and team members can be seen wandering the streets at night, their garages long since foreclosed on. Recently, driver Ashton Lewis Jr. was arrested for accosting a motel clerk who refused to let him pay in hot dog wrappers.
"Its much like whenever a new predator enters a virgin environment", explained antropologist Dr. Scott Wilson, "the natives who do not learn to adapt slowly wither away. These Busch teams who did not sign alliance pacts with Cup teams are going the way of the carrier pigeon."
Little hope remains for these teams and drivers. Some have been taken in by a local shelter, Nascar Craftsman Truck Series, but most are reduced to a life of slow decay. This fact is not lost on the many race fans who visit the area each year.
"Last night we left a restaurant", said tourist Sara Vincent, "and we saw Johnny Sauter sleeping in a dumpster. Its a real shame."


Another "Weird Mike" Mackler Song Presentation

To the tune of "Allentown" by Billy Joel

Well we're racing here in NBS
And they say that our careers are a mess
Never made it in the Nextel Cup
Or if we did
It wasn't enough

Now we run for independent teams
After swallowing our pride and dreams
Try to scrape by with a couple bucks
Wondering if
We should do Trucks
And we're racing here in NBS
But 2006 is anyone's guess
And I need a sponsorship to staaaaaay

Well we're racing here in NBS
But the chances to win get less and less
Get replaced by a promising kid
He'll never know
All that I did

So the racing trophies sit on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No 'cause winning doesn't mean a thing
They just want youth
And what it will bring
And we're waiting here in NBS
But the time has come for us to confess
That the doubts and fears won't go awaaaaay

Every driver had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as his hero got
But before they got the Nextel Cup gold
They were fired 'cause 30 was too ollllllllllllllld

Well we're racing here in NBS


Michigan "News" and Notes

A Day Early!

--LeBron James' hangers-on recently announced plans for a James-based special paint scheme on Bobby Labonte's car at Bristol. Because when you think of cutting-edge urban style, you think of a bright green Monte Carlo.

--Rumors have begun to surface about the casting for Will Ferrell's upcoming Nascar-themed movie. I'd put MY money on a cameo either by Jackie Stewart or Jackie Chan.

--John Andretti makes his, um, triumphant?...yeah, triumphant, I guess, return to Nextel Cup action this week.

--It was revealed on NBS 24/7 this week that Akins Motorsports driver Tyler Walker (Texas Ranger) missed the drivers meeting at Watkins Glen after being pulled over on his way in. Reportedly the infraction was a 1212--impersonating Ryan Newman's haircut.

--And finally, just be patient--the boring races are almost over with.

EVEN--You'll hear the term "Irish Hills of Michigan" at least 10 times.
3:1--You'll hear the term "D-shaped oval" at least 10 times.
50:1--You'll hear the term "minority driver" at least one time.

Kurt Busch Signs Future Contract with Roush Racing

Days after signing a new long-term deal with with Penske Racing, Kurt Busch has announced that he has reached an agreement with Jack Roush, beginning at the conclusion of his next contract.
"Jack has been nothing but a gentleman to me", Busch explained at a press conference, "and I realized that this would be a great place to continue my racing career."
Busch's current contract with Roush Racing ends in 2007. His Penske contract is believed to run through 2011, meaning that Busch can return to the team in time for the London Olympics.
"Kurt is always thinking about the future, as am I", Roush said in a statement. "Its obvious that in this day in age, drivers are being signed further and further down the road. This was our best chance to sign a great driver to a long-term deal...again."
Roush has already lined up the next generation of Nascar superstars to join his Ford brigade in the coming decades.
"We have Reed Sorensen coming on board in 2015, David Reutimann in 2017, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2025. I've already talked to Mark Martin, and he has confirmed that he is willing to continue driving as long as we need him to, which as of now looks like its going to be through the next decade."
In retaliation, Penske Racing, taking a page from Chip Ganassi, changed his company's name to "Roger Penske Racing Without Rusty Wallace", in an attempt to attract name talent.


NFL Retirement Plan Now Entirely Nascar-Based

Responding to recent economic and social trends in the sport, The National Football League Players Association has announced that they have replaced their standard pension plans with a totally Nascar-based system.

"We have found that, after years of toiling in the trenches of professional football, the only thing retired players want to do is own a racing team", Union chief Gene Upshaw explained at a press conference. "Its a natural progression, for some reason."

Former Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland Radiers wide receiver Tim Brown is the first recipient of the new plan, in which pensions, instead of being paid out over a period of years, will be transferred to Nascar "Ownership Bux", redeemable at any major team. Brown chose to cash in his pension at Roush Racing.

"Jack Roush has one of the most stable teams in racing", Brown explained. "He inspires loyalty amongst all his drivers. However, I don't know how I'll be able to find a driver with so many under contract through 2007."

Other former players, such as Jim Kelly (Cicci-Kelly Racing), Mark Rypien (Rypien Motorsports) and Gene Washington (that team with Dr. J) have entered the sport with varying degrees of success. Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw has operated the most stable team, with his cars consistenly running in the back of the pack for over three years.

Joe Gibbs could not be reached for comment, as he was trying to figure out how to make Patrick Ramsey look like a quarterback.


Enter Sandman

People have often commented on how much Nascar has become like pro wrestling (or rasslin', if you so desire). If that's true, then where's the entrance music? All wrestlers (or rasslers) have their own music to enter to, a tradition started by "Santa with Muscles" star Hulk Hogan. Here's what our favorite Nascar drivers can use:
0 Mike Bliss--anything by the BLACK EYEd peas

01 Joe Nemechek--Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix)

07 Dave Blaney--Back in Black (AC/DC)

2 Rusty Wallace--Respect (Aretha Franklin)

4 Mike Wallace--theme for the FOUR Horsemen

5 Kyle Busch--Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)

6 Mark Martin--One More for the Road (Boz Scaggs)

7 Robby Gordon--On the Road (Course) Again (Willie Nelson)

8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.--Anything by 3 Doors Down (as required by law)

9 Kasey Kahne--Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Joe Jackson)

10 Scott Riggs--Theme from Leathal Weapon

11 Buncha Guys--Return to Sender (The Other King)

12 Ryan Newman--Mr. Roboto (Styx)

15 Michael Waltrip--Theme from "Hair"

16 Greg Biffle--Private Eyes (Hall & Oates)

17 Matt Kenseth--(She was only) Seventeen (Winger)

18 Bobby Labonte--Anything by Al GREEN

19 Jeremy Mayfield--Jeremy (Pearl Jam)

20 Tony Stewart--Brickhouse (The Commodores)

21 Ricky Rudd--Who are You? (The Who)

22 Scott Wimmer--Theme from Bob the Builder

24 Jeff Gordon--Mama Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J)

25 Brian Vickers--Theme from The Daily Show

27 Kirk Shelmerdine--I Missed Again (Phil Collins)

29 Kevin Harvick--When You're Smilin' (Louis Armstrong et al)

31 Jeff Burton--867-5309 (Tommy Tutone)

32 Bobby Hamilton Jr.--Short People (Randy Newman)

36 Boris Said--Theme to Rocky & Bullwinkle

37 Kevin Lepage--The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)

38 Elliot Sadler--The Candyman (Sammy Davis Jr.)

40 Sterling Marlin--Any rap about a 40 oz.

41 Casey Mears--Should I Stay or Should I Go? (The Clash)

42 Jamie McMurray--Moving Out (Billy Joel)

43 Jeff Green--static

45 Kyle Petty--Oh King Richard (himself)

48 Jimmie Johnson--Anything by Sesame Street's Bert

49 Ken Schrader--Theme from Road Warrior

77 Travis Kvapil--Yellow (Some band my sister likes)

88 Dale Jarrett--Signed Sealed Delivered (Stevie Wonder)

89 Morgan Shepherd--I Hate Robin Leach (Morgan Shepherd)

97 Kurt Busch--It Takes 2 (lots of singers)

99 Carl Edwards--Jump (Van Halen)

Why such the gigundo article today? Well tomorrow I take another visit to my alma mater UMD to visit my sister. Also, my computer is getting the last rights from the local guru.


A Quick Analysis of Supercuts' Commercials

Tim Fedewa: No longer with the Supercuts team.

Casey Atwood: No longer a teammate of the Supercuts team.

Randy Cox: Only tangentially connected to the Supercuts team.

Terry Bradshaw: Bald.

...then again, they're still better than the 524 Aarons the math!


Tracy Takes On...Giving Up

Reasons given why Paul Tracy didn't run the upcoming Nascar race at Michigan:

--CART pathetically begged him not to go.

--His mom threatened to show up in the pits.

--Controversial "no Canadiens" policy not recinded.

--Intimidated by the awe-inspiring alliance of Jimmy Spencer and Peak Motorsports

--Pursing the CART World Championship's grand prize: $500 and a trip to Denver.

--Thinks he's too good for stock car racing, but apparently IS good enough to run obscure races for a dying series.

--Kevin Harvick got his cell phone number, and won't stop bugging him.

--Martin Truex has the rights to the #1. And if you can't be #1, what's the point?


Leffler Takes a T.O.

The Outside Groove: OK, we're here with former Joe Gibbs Racing driver Jason Leffler, who's here today with his agent--Jason, how are you handling the release?
Jason Leffler: What release? I'm holding out for a better contract.
TOG: Um, the team released you on Tuesday--everybody saw it.
JL: That's just another example of you only hearing one side of the story.
TOG: Well, then, how do you explain the $5 million severance package.
JL: Look--$5 million? That doesn't put me in the top 10 drivers in the sport. I'm just looking to get paid what I deserve.
Jason's agen, Cary Agoaugoudfiuodguian: Let me just jump in here--Jason is a great driver--I mean, he CONSISTENTLY finished in the top 10 of the Busch Series last year, and is obviously running for a team that has NO chance to win--I mean, when was the last time that Tony Stewart won a race?
JL: And nobody knows, they made me sign a SECRET CONTRACT last year because of height restrictions. If one of those phonebooks on the seat had slipped, I'd've been out on the street.
TOG: Uh...that's all the time we have here today--we'll seeya tomorrow.
JL: By the way, buy Winfuel.


Watkins Glen "News" and Notes

--Watkins Glen always brings a large group of drivers who do not compete in every race to the track, chief among them Robby Gordon.

--This race was formerly known as the "Bud at the Glen". This name always sounded best coming out of Steven Segal, when he would set the location for a fight. Obsoive:
Thug: Hey man, I'll fight you anywhere man
Steve-o: Lets make it the Bud...AT THE GLEN

--Several drivers have signed "future contracts" with teams for 2007 and on. To make things simpler, Brian France is considering scraping the entire 2006 season.

--Robert Yates Racing honors his sponsors this week with a "half and half" Busch car, which will feature UPS on one side of the car, and M&M's on the other. Its life imitating diecast!

--And lastly, Tom Hubert.

4:1 NBC will play "Thunder Road" at some point during the broadcast.
10:1 Geoff Bodine will be mistaken for Todd Bodine by Brett Bodine.
20:1 Someone will mention Tony Stewart's "brown flag" celebration last year.

From the Network That Gave Us the Shoe Cam...

The Outside Groove owes alot of its spirit and style to Bill Simmons, aka "The Sports Guy" from ESPN's Page 2. When I'm not boycotting him for his anti-Cal Ripken remarks, I read some of the best sports humor writing around. The following exchange comes from his latest "Mailbag" article:

Q: In your "Midseason Form" column, you write about how your wife hates Mariah Carey and that most women do. Try this: Tell your wife that you find Jennifer Love Hewitt attractive and you enjoy her acting. You may even be able to squeeze a whole column out of her reaction and the pure bile that women spit when hearing her name. Ask any sisters, sisters-in-law, other female friends; they all hate her universally, and it is unexplainable.--Jack, Cleveland

Bill Simmons: Just for the record, I tried this with the Sports Gal this week ... she reacted like George Brett in the Pine Tar Game. Highest of high comedy. Somebody needs to film the pilot, "Everybody Hates Jennifer."

I laughed harder than I can remember after reading that passage--mostly because its 100% true--I've tried it myself, before this article was published. But its not just the fairer sex that's immune to such reactions--here's the sure-fire comments to make my blood boil:

--Great article, Mack--Mike Smith did a cartoon just like that 2 years ago

--When I think of the quiet, reserved veteran, I think of Rusty Wallace

--You write the articles on drag racing, right?

--IRL is SO much better than Nascar

--Michael Waltrip is SO funny!

--We the jury find the defendant, Michael Mackler, guilty of stalking Douglas Ladd

--Racing's not a real sport like poker or ballroom dancing

--Hey, you--get out of Miss Munter's garden!


Gordon Signs Post-Lifetime Contract with Honda

Following Kurt Busch's surprise move to Penske Racing in 2007, Jeff Gordon has announced that he will part ways with Henrick Motorsports once his contract is up.
When informed that Gordon had signed a "lifetime contract" with team owner/car salesman Rick Hendrick, Gordon explained that his new contract is, in fact, compliant.
"My lawyers and I sat down and realized the issues pertaining to my contract", Gordon explained. "I obviously want to sign with a great company like Honda, however, I also don't want to be in breach of contract. As such, I'll be making my way over to the Honda camp as soon as my lifetime ends."
Gordon's move to the Japanese auto giant has been preceeded by signs of strife in the Hendrick camp--noticably Brian Vickers' drinking of Gordon's Pepsi (which had been clearly marked "JG" in the company fridge) and Jimmie Johnson's refusal to turn down his stereo in the trailer.
Gordon is expected to move immediately to Honda once his contract--and life--are terminated. It is unknown if Honda will ask for Hendrick to end Gordon's contract earlier, as this would require a contract killing.


Your Source for Expert Analysis

So then, Mikey says to Junior, I just saved a bunch of money on my car ins------


Late news out of Charlotte today, as 2004 Cup Champion Kurt Busch has announced that he is leaving Roush Racing at the end of his contract in 2007. Additionally, Penske Racing has come forward as the team that Busch has signed with. Busch has requested to be let out of his contract early to run the #2 car next season.
You know, Kurt is a heck of a driver, best remembered to most race fans as the last driver that Dale Earnhardt gave the finger to. And let me tell you, The Intimidator might've been great, but his father, Ralph, was the real deal. Ol' Ironheart could tear the bumper off of any of these young drivers.
I tell ya, these young guys like Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett, they have no respect for the old guard. Why, in my day drivers only came from two states--North Carolina and South Carolina. And we weren't racing at any Indy either--they always think they're so big with their race queens and movie star wives, well WE have integrity in stock car racing! And none of these women racers either! And another thing, there's far too many------


----Mikey, you tell the best stories. By the way, you're fired.


Jason has Left the Building

Earlier today, Jason Leffler was fired from his position at Joe Gibbs Racing. Some exclusive news from The Outside Groove on the move:

--Leffler will receive a $5 Million dollar payout from JGR, as long as he doesn't drive another Cup car for 18 months. For expertise on how to avoid Cup, he'll be consulting with Ward Burton and Ricky Craven.

--Leffler's abrupt removal means that FedEx will be unable to unveil their newest promotion: "We want to qualify the car. People love the car...well, they love his teammates."

--Leffler may have left voluntarily, as tensions were mounting on the team as he steadfastly refused going by a new nickname, "Le Petite Orange"*

--Owner-in-abstentia Joe Gibbs reportedly had the team's director of personel deliver the news to Leffler, reminding the driver that he has great talent, and can surely find a job in the Arena League.

--Teammate Tony Stewart was unavailable for comment, as he was still performing his victory celebration. Bobby Labonte was also unavailable, as he was trying to figure out what the new logo on his hood meant.

*--60's baseball joke


It Still Looks Better Than "Surface"

A recap of NBC's coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard:

My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl My Name is Earl


Nascar Nation: The Lost Interview

Leeann Tweeden: Richard, it's been a tough season for Petty Enterprises fans. What does it mean to you now that the race team is struggling?

Richard Pety: I wanna kiss you. I couldn't care less about the team struggling. What we know is we can improve. Jeff and Kyle, our drivers, have been getting used to the new engines, and we struggled. We're looking to next season, we're looking to make a noise now and ... I wanna kiss you!

Leeann: Thanks King! I'll take that as a huge compliment ... [Richard in background: YEAH!!!! GOODY'S HEADACHE POWDERS!]


Indy "News" and Notes

--This year, the race is sponsored by Allstate. 10 years of tradition shouldn't mean anything to a company looking to spend money, that's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?

--As usual, the "support" Busch and Truck races will be held across town at IRP. In the Thanksgiving Dinner that is Indianapolis, IRP is the kids table.

--New rumors have Matt Kenseth going to DEI in 2006. WHY?

--The 400 continues to hold its place as Nascar's most prestigious race that's not exciting.

--This week marks the first major event at IMS since the tire debacle earlier this year. If any drivers threaten to boycott this event, expect them to be "messed up" by Brian France's business associates.

3:1 Tony Stewart will continue to complain about the fact that the race is sponsored
10:1 More than half the field will be running special paint schemes
50:1 Anyone outside the top 35 who makes the race will finish in the top 20


Headlines from Hell: From the Files of Police Squad!

Military Junta Overthrows Leader of Wally's World

Michelin Vows Boycott of Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

Unmarried Man Over 40 Watches "Herbie: Fully Loaded"; Described as 'Quite Creepy'

Investigation: That Guy at Work who Claims to Love Rally Racing may be Lying

Marty Smith Goes on Crash Diet to Drop 10% of Weight, Loses 7 Pounds

AutoZone Begins Filming First of 93 Kenny Wallace-Themed Commercials

New Hall of Fame to Focus on Drivers who Quit Bill Davis Racing

726,350 Cars Attempt to Qualify for Indy

The Outside Groove Follows Prince Week with Apollonia Month


No, its not "The Shield"

A review of TNT's recent coverage of the past three weeks' races:

The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me
The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me The next loud noise you hear is me


The Outside Groove--A Press Conference

Good evening, loyal readers, new visitors and virulent commentors. Today it became public knowledge that Seattle Mariners pitcher Ryan Franklin was suspended 10 days for violating MLB's steroid policy. Mr. Franklin has been unreachable, though by looking at his ERA, you can tell that the steroids were not performance enhancing.
Now, before rumors hit the street, the record must the told. Yes, it is true that Mr. Franklin and I are from roughly the same town. And yes, it is true that he once subsitute taught my 10th grade Pre-Calculus class. However, that is where our relationship ended.
I have never knowingly injected steriods into my body. Anyone who has seen me in person will testify to that, while laughing that anyone would think that I was doing something to increase my muscle mass.
In addition, I have never used any banned substances during my writing "career". Many other writers may have violated Nascar's substance abuse policy--Rupen Fofaria (milkshakes), David Poole (raw sugar), and Douglas Ladd (meth) to name a few--I have stayed on the straight and narrow.
Now, it is true that, if a test was conducted, steroids would show in my bloodstream. Please know that this is from a PRE-EXISTING allergy condition, and can be found in any nosespray used by your garden variety nerd. The only roid rage I would ever had would be from sitting on the toilet too much.
Thank you for your time. Now we can return to focusing on the real menace to the sport: Paul Tracey.

Where Does the Money Go?

A meekly-weekly look at where the sponsorship dollars for your favorite drivers are spent

This week: Casey Mears

14% Retainer fee for job search agency

15% Paint for 452 associate sponsors

3% Earplugs for Felix Sabates' rants about how they STOLE that win from Kyle, and THAT'S why he ran that protest car, damn it!

18% Therapist sessions after last year's pink car debacle

20% Payment for agreeing to hang out with Scott Pruett

15% Publishing costs for autobiography: "No, the Other Casey"

15% Publishing costs for second autobiography: "No, the Other Mears"


A Monkey, a Pop Star, and Smoke

Recently, the 2006 Nascar Pets Calander came out. This brought up a unique (and ultimately bizzare) piece of information: Tony Stewart owns a monkey. Now, Tim Flock non-withstanding, the only other famous person on record to own a monkey is, of course, Michael Jackson. Lets see how much these two have in common besides ownership of a primate:
(Note: for purposes of decency--yes, I have a sense of decency--lets only focus on MJ pre-trial)

Michael Jackson: Singer, Dancer, Actor
Tony Stewart: Racer, Racer, Dancer

Signiature Moves:
MJ: The Moonwalk
TS: Stealing signiature moves

MJ: Tito, Jermaine, Rebe, et al
TS: Jason Leffler

Early Career Gamble:
MJ: Soundtrack for freaky movie "Ben"
TS: Special paint scheme for crappy movie "Small Soldiers"

Self-Given Nickname:
MJ: King of Pop
TS: The Sultan of Stubble

Ill-Advised Career Move:
MJ: Movies such as "Moonwalker" and "Captain EO"
TS: Punching a photographer

Emulated for his...:
MJ: Singing, dance moves, and sense of theatrics in performing (for instance, Justin Timberlake)
TS: Punching a photographer (for instance, Kenny Rogers)

Most Notorious Moment:
MJ: Quickie marriage to Lisa Marie Pressley
TS: Quickie run through the Busch Series

Little-Known Fact:
MJ: Designed a special shoe to perform "The Lean", as seen in "Smooth Criminal"
TS: Refuses to learn the lyrics to "Hail to the Redskins" on basic principle

Most Famous Accomplishment:
MJ: Thriller, the greatest selling album of all time
TS: Made a Pontiac win. Repeatedly. In the 90's