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A Comparison--Ric Flair vs. Kurt Busch

(Note--earlier this evening I also wrote an article about the disbanding of the 77 team. Its right below this one, and is less funny)

What do Ric Flair, pro wrestler, and Kurt Busch, Nascar driver, have in common? Well, they have both recently been involved in notable traffic incidents. But do the similarities go any further? Lets take a look:

Ric Flair--The Nature Boy
Kurt Busch--The Nerdy Boy

Famous Motto
Ric Flair--"Wooo!"
Kurt Busch--"That decrepit old has-been."

Ric Flair--Minnesota, home of scandal and sleaze
Kurt Busch--The family-centric city of Las Vegas

Finishing Move
Ric Flair--Figure-4
Kurt Busch--The Dogleg Bump-Draft

Most Famous Feuds
Ric Flair--Bret Hart (like everyone else in the universe), Mick Foley
Kurt Busch--Every Nascar driver besides Kyle Busch

Most Surprising Aspect of the Traffic Stop
Ric Flair--Grabbed the alleged victim by the neck
Kurt Busch--Expected a cop to know who he is--because we all know that everyone gets Sundays off

Least Surprising Aspect of the Traffic Stop
Ric Flair--This Mugshot
Kurt Busch--That Kurt Busch annoyed somebody

Where Do We Go From Here?
Ric Flair--Continue wrestling until death
Kurt Busch--Get new job, make more money--Nascar-How bad have YOU got it?

Why Did The 77 Team Shut Down?

--Nobody could figure out how to spell Travis Kvapil's name, but nobody was brave enough to ask him.

--The team had already run with Bobby Hillin. And when you've had Bobby Hillin, everyone else is a disappointment.

--Kodak decided to spend their money elsewhere, like on convincing people to buy camera film for their digital cameras.

--7 might be a lucky number, but the two 7's on the car were cancelling each other out. Of course, this doesn't explain the Robby Gordon phenomenon.

--Kvapil took Rusty Wallace's side in the Wallace-Newman feud. Don't cross the Rocketman. Don't.

--They always "forgot" to clean out their garage stalls at Pocono. Fellas, the Matolli's carry a LOT of weight in this sport.

--They just weren't very good.


Why Robbie Loomis Left Hendrick--EXCLUSIVE

The Outside Groove has obtained an exclusive copy of the Hendrick Racing shop's security tapes from the night of the incident in question. Once you see the interaction that occurred, you'll know that Robbie Loomis WASN'T insane for going back to the Petty's.

Rick: (sipping a cup of coffee) Hey Robbie...what's happening? Mmmmyeah, I'm going to have to have you move your toooolbox over to the basement--we just got some new mechanics and we really need the room. So if you could get that moved sometime this afternoon that would be greattttt. (walks away)

Robbie: (muttering) But-but, Mr. Hendrick, this is the third time this month that you've asked me to move my toolbox. I know that the toolbox was designed for mobility, but the other crew chiefs keep their toolboxes in relatively the same area, and-and, you said last time that this would be the last time the toolbox would have to be moved---

Rick: (walking back, still sipping his coffee) Mmmmmyeah, I'm gonna have to have you come in on Monnnnday--we wrecked some cars at Richmond and we're going to have to play a little 'catch up'--so if you could get in here around ninnnne that would be greattttt. (walks away again).

Robbie: (muttering) The last time I came in on a Monday you guarenteed me that it would be a one time only occurrance because Monday is my designated day off and if you make me move my toolbox one more time I'm-I'm going to turn you in for overtime violations.


Performance Review

How did The Outside Groove do in its 2005 Nextel Cup predictions? Lets take a look:

(Original prediction first, followed by actual points finish)

1. Jimmie Johnson--5th

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.--19th

3. Ryan Newman--6th

4. Jeff Gordon--11th

5. Matt Kenseth--7th

6. Tony Stewart--1st

7. Kurt Busch--10th and didn't finish the season

8. Jamie McMurray--12th

9. Bobby Labonte--24th

10. Elliott Sadler--13th

11. Jeff Burton--18th

12. Kevin Harvick--14th

13. Kasey Kahne--23rd

14. Greg Biffle--2nd

15. Casey Mears--22nd

16. Jeremy Mayfield--9th

17. Joe Nemechek--16th

18. Rusty Wallace--8th

19. Carl Edwards--3rd

20. Mark Martin--4th

21. Dale Jarrett--15th

22. Jason Leffler--38th and didn't finish the season

23. Michael Waltrip--25th

24. Ricky Rudd--21st

25. Brian Vickers--17th

26. Mike Bliss--28th (close!)

27. Dave Blaney--26th (so close!)

28. Scott Wimmer--32nd

29. Sterling Marlin--29th (really close!)

30. Scott Riggs--34th

31. Kyle Busch--20th

32. John Andretti--55th and didn't finish the first month

33. Bobby Hamilton Jr.--36th

34. Travis Kvapil--33rd (dang close!)

35. Robby Gordon--37th

36. Jeff Green--29th

37. Kyle Petty--27th

38. Ken Schrader--31st

39. Mike Wallace--35th

40. Hermie Sadler--44th

41. Kirk Shelmerdine--84th (seriously)

42. Morgan Shepherd--63rd

43. Jimmy Spencer--46th

44. Randy LaJoie--66th

45. Greg Sacks--79th

Well, 45 picks, zero right.


What Family Member is YOUR Favorite Nascar Driver? PART 3 of 3

40-David Stremme--Your cousin who got that promotion at work, even though he only got it by working with the worst team.

41-Reed Sorenson--The family friend your dad keeps trying to fix your sister up with.

42-Casey Mears--Casey Mears (he always shows up when there's cranberry sauce around).

43-Bobby Labonte--The uncle who threw away his six figure salary as an executive to open a pottery shop.

45-Kyle Petty--The uncle who threw away his four figure salary as a short-order cook to take correspondance courses in computer systems management.

48-Jimmie Johnson--Your grandpa, who doesn't react to anything, even your cousin telling everyone he's gay.

49-Brent Sherman--The guy who showed up that nobody knows.

50-Jimmy Spencer--Your great uncle the drunk who keeps challenging your dad to fight him.

55-Michael Waltrip--The cousin who's really nice to your mom and dad, but beats you up when you beat him at video games in the basement.

77-Travis Kvapil--The foreign exchange student.

88-Dale Jarrett--Your aunt who has worked at the same job for 30 years, and knows everything about everyone.

96-Terry Labonte and Tony Raines--Your great-grandpa and his caretaker, who you suspect is taking his money.

99-Carl Edwards--The cousin with the hot girlfriend.


What Family Member is YOUR Favorite Nascar Driver? PART 2 of 3

16-Greg Biffle--Its great that your cousin signed up for the National Guard--but she doesn't have to brag about it all day.

17-Matt Kenseth--Ah, the old reliable Aunt whose personality most resembles a robot. A robot that makes great mashed potatoes, that is.

18-J.J. Yeley--Your amusing brother who just happens to be DYN-O-MITE!

19-Jeremy Mayfield--Your young uncle who keeps trying to join the police, but spends most of his free time raising bulldogs.

20-Tony Stewart--The successful family member that everyone secretly resents.

21-Ken Schrader--Your coolest uncle who always has great souveniers from his business trips around the world.

22-Dave Blaney (probably)--Your aunt who has restarted her career for the tenth time.

24-Jeff Gordon--Your succesful uncle who, when he got divorced, secretly made everyone in the family happy.

25-Brian Vickers--Your cousin who doesn't realize that there is such a thing as too much hair gel.

26-Jamie McMurray--See above.

29-Kevin Harvick--The uncle you can't play touch football with, because he always ends up breaking your dad's nose.

31-Jeff Burton--Your cousin who went on Jeopardy! a few years ago but hasn't done much since.

38-Elliott Sadler--Your grandpa who keeps trying to get you to go hunting with him.

More tomorrow


What Family Member is YOUR Favorite Nascar Driver? PART 1 of 3

As we wind up this day of Thanksgiving, sitting with our families, wondering why the Detroit Lions are still allowed to host a national game, our thoughts still turn to Nascar. People often talk about the "Nascar Family"--but what parts of the family are they? Lets take a look:

o-Jeff Green--Your uncle with the cool sports car who seems to have a new job every holiday.

1-Martin Truex, Jr.--Your cousin's new boyfriend who keeps trying to convince you to go to his alt-punk-rock band's Snowball in Hell show at the fire hall.

2-Kurt Busch--Yes, your second cousin was cleared of all charges. Yes, the sheriff forgave him. But your mom still won't give him seconds on the champagne.

5-Kyle Busch--The annoying little cousin who always wants to sit at the grown-ups table, then complains that he's bored.

6-Mark Martin--Your recently-divorced great-uncle who just won't leave, even after the Cowboys game ended.

7-Robby Gordon--Your aunt who owns her own dreamcatcher business but still finds time to breed long-haired cats.

8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.--Your cousin that everyone thinks is SOOOO great, just because she graduated from community college.

9-Kasey Kahne--Your sister's best friend, who is getting WAY too much attention from Uncle Dennis.

10-Scott Riggs--Your aunt's loser fiancee who can't take the fact that he'll never be a film critic, no matter how well-groomed his soul patch is.

11-Denny Hamlin--The scared guy who just married into the family, who has all these great stories, but an accent no one can place.

12-Ryan Newman--Your second-cousin who graduated Summa Cum Laude from college, has a job lined up, and wants the gravy...NOW.

14-Sterling Marlin--Your friendly uncle, the garbage man!

More tomorrow


Nascar Pledges to Increase Awkwardness of Awards Banquet

Continuing a trend stretching back years, Nascar has reaffirmed its longtime pledge to put on the most awkward, cringe-worthy awards show in all of sports and entertainment.
"We feel that our drivers, coupled with emcee's with no experience, make for quite the awkward situation", Nascar head honcho Brian France explained. "When you see Ryan Newman thanking his wife, and 'signing her to a long-term extension', we guarentee that you will squirm in your couch."
Experts agree that while Nascar lends itself to an awkward awards banquet, topping last year's ceremony will be tough. However, France offered that he is up to the challenge.
"Last year, we had Scott Stapp. This year, we'll have Joey McIntire. Last year, we had Bill Weber as the show's announcer. This year, he'll be drunk. We WILL exceed last year's awkwardness, and that's a guarentee."
Nascar has risen to the occasion before. Many believed that it would be impossible to surpass the bizarreness of Jeff Gordon's weepy speech in 1995. However, Dale Jarrett rose to the occasion with his remark that "The Commodores are playing at our party" in 1999. And TNT earned a legendary place in awkward lore by replaying the first 10 minutes of the 2003 awards show.
One surprise will be the host--Jay Mohr was not retained due to his ability to keep the show moving at a comforable pace. France would not say who the replacement is, but did hint that "...we are in negotiations with a certain former star of Family Matters."


Jimmie Johnson--2005 Nextel Cup Runner-Up

Jimmie's runner up
Jimmie's runner up
Second in Nextel Cup
Asking (again) what's up
Was it just one less pass
Was it one go n' gas
Because keeps coming in second
Mark Martin next generation
And man, he is so boring
Interviews got me snoring
Will he ever really get it done?

Jimmie's runner up
Jimmie's runner up
But he ain't no wounded pup
He knows exactly what's up
He's better than so many
What did you ever be?
He beat everybody but Stewart
To criticize him isn't fair
The man is such a racer
And such a fine Cup Chaser
Hey no championship? I don't care


Tony Stewart--2005 Nextel Cup Champion

Another "Weird Mike" Mackler Song Presentation

To the tune of "We Are The Champions" by Queen:

He's screwed up bad
Time after time
He's flipped out so much
With no reason or rhyme
And dumb mistakes
So many there
He punched the reporter,
Kicked the camera
Did he even care?

But he finally got and got and got control

He is the champion - my friends
And he kept on winning in this year
He is the champion
He is the champion
No time for fillers
'Cause Stewart's the '05

He started in sprints
Then IRL
Then the Busch Series, though getting a win in there
Was really hell
Then he hit the Cup Series
Man, what a scene
This was more than some guy from open wheel
You know what I mean

But he finally got and got and got control

He is the champion - my friends
And he kept on winning in this year
He is the champion
He is the champion
No time for fillers
'Cause Stewart's the '05

But he finally got and got and got control

He is the champion - my friends
And he kept on winning in this year
He is the champion
He is the champion
No time for fillers
'Cause Stewart's the '05


Fill in the Blanks

Since I won't be able to write an article tomorrow until late at night, here's something to tide you over once the race ends:

_____ won the Ford 400, but it was _____ who was the big winner, taking home the championship. _____ lead early, but fell behind when a _____ broke on the car. However, _____'s pit crew was able to get them back on the lead lap with crew cheif _____'s pit strategy.
"This is what its all about!", _____ exclaimed after the race. "I'd just like to thank all my sponsors, _____, _____, _____, _____, _____, and Goodyear. Also this is for all the guys on the team back in _____, you guys did a _____ of a job this year."
This is the _____ championship for _____, and even more surprising considering his bizzare arrest for _____ behavior this morning. He claimed that he had been _____ probed by aliens, but police were unable to verify the reports.
"I'm telling you, that wasn't me in the _____ pool! It was my replicon!", _____ explained during a press conference. "They made me _____ and _____ with a _____ on their ship! It was _____!"
In a related story, Robby Gordon referred to Michael Waltrip as a 'Piece of _____.' Again."


Homestead "News" and Notes

A few Dodge teams will be going back to the 2004 Intrepid body style for this weekend's race. No word on if they'll also make Chappelle's Show references and root for the Red Sox.

As expected, Kenny Schrader has signed with Wood Brothers Racing for 2006. As NOT expected, Little Debbie snack cakes has signed up as the primary sponsor. This brings about the long awaited alliance of Little Debbie and the U.S. Air Force.

Tony Stewart simply needs to finish ninth or better (or lead a lap and finish tenth or better), to win the championship. However, I wouldn't count out Bobby Hamilton Jr. just yet.

Unveiling ceremonies for Kurt Busch's 2004 championship banner have been cancelled after last week's incident at Phoenix. No word on if this is a Michigan basketball Fab Five situation, where it will be stripped from the record books and only live on in the memory of Travis Best.

The Busch Series' Silly Season has lurched ahead, with Jason Keller going to the #1 car and Johnny Sauter going to the #44 (replacing Justin Labonte). Additionally, Keith Coleman Racing has hired and fired three drivers in the time it took you to read that sentence.

4:1 Some sappy song will be played at the end of the race showing highlights of NBC's coverage.
15:1 Allan Bestwick will kill Bill Weber during the final lap.
50:1 Less than 50 drivers will attempt the race.


Brent Sherman Signs with BAM Racing

Seriously, Brent Sherman.

Yeah, that Brent Sherman, the guy from the Busch Series.

No, I'm not kidding.

Yes, it is for real.

No, he's running Cup.

Yes, the full schedule.

I told you, its not a joke.

I know, I know, it makes no sense.

For the last time, NO I'M NOT KIDDING.


10 Greatest Insults of All Time

10. "Bug-Eyed Dummy" Directed at Greg Biffle, by Sterling Marlin. Unfortunately, we never got to hear Greg make fun of Sterling. Speaking of which...

9. "Cueball" Directed at Todd Bodine, by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Everybody has been mad at Todd at some point in time--Junior just had the best take on it.

8. "Jaws" Directed at Darrell Waltrip, by "the old guard". DW actually tried to say in a commercial that it came from the movie of the same name, but any old timer will tell ya--its because he talked so damn much.

7. "Mad Dog Musgrave" Directed at Ted Musgrave, by Ted Musgrave. As soon as I heard this, I imagined Droopy Dog saying "you know what? I don't like you."

6. "A Piece of ****" Directed at Michael Waltrip, by Robby Gordon. After the season from hell, Robby finally just boiled over. Thankfully, it was directed in the right place.

5. (50 People have failed at owning a Nascar team), "He's 51" Directed at Alex Meshkin, by Larry McReynolds. Alex showed up at the next Truck race wearing a T-shirt with a 51 with a slash through it. And that shirt used up 50% of their remaining cash.

4. "Ironhead", Directed at Dale Earnhardt, by "the old guard". It could have been worse--they could've called him Iron Butterfly.

3. "You're a ******* Idiot" Directed at me, by a random emailer. Grandma, stop emailing me--I know its you.

2. "Swervin Irvan" Directed at Ernie Irvan, by random Irvan detractors. Ernie seems like a great guy, and there's no doubt that he was a great racer. Moreover, he put together one of the best seasons in the Earnhardt era before having it taken away from him at Michigan. Still, this nickname always comes to mind.

1. "Decrepit Old Has-Been/Never Was" Directed at Jimmy Spencer, by Kurt Busch. He speaks the truth!


Another "Weird Mike" Mackler Song Presentation

To the tune of Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper" (from Nebraska, the most depressing album ever released).

Maricopa County
Angry as I could be
No one directing traffic,
This guy's so pendantic
License, registration, I don't give a damn
But let me ask you one question,
Do you know who I am?

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

Maybe you had a bad day,
Or you're an ornery man
Or you've had a rough life
Or just a longtime Cards fan

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

Preparing for a race you're head gets woozy,
That thing that you smell, man, don't call it boozy
Got no real chance for the Nextel Cup
I guess I'll find out tomorrow who'll be my new backup

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me

Hey, somebody out there, please just believe me
Hiho silver-o, deliver me to Penske



In an exclusive interview, Kurt Busch gives HIS side of the story as to what happened Friday night at Phoenix:
"OK, first of all, I didn't realize that I was going that fast. I mean, you know how it is. You're drivin' along, thinking about Roger Penske's hair, and all of a sudden, 'Woah, I'm doing 60 miles per hour!' And by the way, the '45mph' sign was TOTALLY covered up by a tree branch."
"So the next thing I know, I'm pulled over by this cop. Now, it is true that I said 'You ought to be directing traffic', but that's only because I'd just seen a near-miss at the track's north entrance. Two cars almost sideswiped each other! The fact that there aren't cops directing traffic throughout race weekend isn't just dangerous, its wrong."
"After I showed the cop my ID, it was reported that I said 'Do you know who I am?' Well, that's just not true. What I REALLY said was, 'Do you know'--you know, the guy from the Black Eyed Peas. 'Lets get it started' was on the radio, and that song always gets me movin'. I just wanted to know if the cop liked the band too!"
"And finally, yes, I did smell of alcohol, but there's a good reason for that. I had just shaved for the first time, and I nicked myself pretty bad. I used some rubbing alcohol to make sure that there wasn't an infection, and I guess it smells just like Miller Lite. This Christmas, I'm asking for an electric!"

And THAT'S the story.


Miller Brewing Company: "We're Screwed"

Today Nascar driver Kurt Busch was pulled over by Arizona police on suspicion of drunk driving. In response, Miller Brewing Company, sponsor of Busch in 2006 and beyond, has issued the following statement: "We're Screwed".
"We feel that the statement issued fully explains our feelings on the situation", SABMiller spokesperson Sara Wilson explained. "Responsible drinking has never been a top priority of ours, but appearing to make it a top priority always has been."
Busch was pulled over outside Phoenix International Raceway earlier today for driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. Busch was uncooperative according to police, repeating saying that he was related to a shrub and "knows a guy who'll flip ya--flip ya for real."
Busch was asked to take a field sobriety test, but refused. Once taken to a sherrif's barricks at the PIR infield, the machine testing him failed, prompting Busch to poke fun at "the decrepit old has-been". Busch was then released on a Johnny Sauter charge.
Miller is not the only one screwed by the incident. Crown Royal, currently an associate sponsor of Busch's, has said that they, too, are screwed. Miller also is said to be floating a rumor that Busch was drinking Milwaukee's Best, which only contains trace amounts of alcohol.
Nascar has remained mum on the situation, though they have already fined Robby Gordon $5,000 for Busch's actions.


Phoenix "News" and Notes

Well, its official--after weeks of speculation and days of waiting, we finally have the news we've expected: Reed Sorenson will be in the 09 car at Homestead. Oh, and Bobby Labonte is going to the 43 car.

Rumor has it that Jim Beam has asked Robby Gordon for a "rebate" on his sponsorship due to his failure to qualify for so many races. Just another day in the life of the worst season ever had by any driver ever.

For the first time ever, an "All-America" team has been selected for United States motorsports, including Nascar. Take THAT, Ron Fellows!

PIR is unique for the fact that no winner has ever won from the pole. Call it the curse of Loy Allen Jr.

FitzBradshaw Racing has said that it hopes to stay as a two car team next year. This despite never fully grasping the concept of the one car team OR the three car team--winning.

4:1 After 300 days of dry heat, it will rain on race day.
9:2 Some West Series driver you've never heard of will make the race.
20:1 An announcer will refer to PIR as "purr".


Why Did Bobby Labonte Leave Gibbs?

--Got tired of dealing with that volatile, angry, hot-tempered, mean-spirited Jimmy Makar.

--Could never figure out what that thing on J.J. Yeley's chin was.

--J.D. Gibbs ended the policy of always serving turkey clubs on monday afternoon. Even though Joe Gibbs specifically put that in place because Bobby likes turkey clubs so much. See what you've done, J.D.?

--Really, really, REALLY didn't like Chef Boyardee.

--MBNA stiffed him with a late fee even though they admitted that they sent out his bill a week later than they usually do.

--Never bothered to learn the name of the CEO of Intersate Batteries, preferring to call him "that guy with the beard in the commercials."

--Retina damage from staring at Tony Stewart's Shrek 2 car too long.

--Hadn't won in a really long time.


Headliness From Hell: The Reckoning

Watkins Glen launches lawsuit for second date

Jack Roush clones self, finds team limit loophole

Hyundai considering Cup program for '08

Terry Labonte arrested for prostitution in connection with Tony Raines

Robby Gordon switches to hybrid engines

Action announces tournament to find the best special paint scheme: The Special Olympics

Scott Wimmer joins Fox crew for 2006

The 2005 Awards Banquet: Now 30% more awkward!

and finally...

Op Ed: Ever wonder why you've never seen Mike Helton and Ron Jeremy in the same place at once?


21 is Done

As you no doubt haven't heard, Ricky Rudd is "taking a break", which, of course, means that he is retiring. He's left the door open for some races next year, which would be his only chance for any sort of retirement tour/cash grab. Here's some themes being thrown around:

The Bill Champion All-Stars Tour

The I Raced with My EYES Taped Open, Don't You REMEMBER That, You Wuss!?! Tour

The Schrader Support Tour

The Don't Want to Become DW In the 90's Tour

The Oh, You Just HAD to Have the 2 Car RIGHT AWAY, KURT Tour

The No, I'm Not Related to Paul Tour

The Pre-Intimidator Tour

The Who's That Guy? Tour


All the Right Moves

Today, after months of Jayski-related speculation, the dominoes fell in Nascar. Here's a recap of everything that happened, in relative order of the "chain".

1. Home123 ends it sponsorship agreement with Chip Ganassi. An internet company? Not paying its bills? Heavens to Betsy!

2. Casey Mears switches from the phantom Home123 car to the 42 Texaco Havoline Ganassi Dodge. Its nice to finally have that bullseye off his back.

3. Jamie McMurray switches from the 42 to the Roush Racing 97 Sharpie/Irwin Tools/Smirnoff Ice/Crown Royal/Your Ad Here Ford. Roush is obviously counting on McMurray to keep up his torrid pace of zero wins a year.

4. Kurt Busch switches from the 97 car to the 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Teaming up with Ryan Newman and Travis Kvapil, Busch now completes the biggest collection of nerds in Nascar.


5. Bobby Labonte leaves the 18 car for parts unknown. I guess we'll never know what that weird 18 logo was on his hood.


Dateline...Hot Rod

Nascar legend and gummi bear promoter Rusty Wallace will be interviewed this Sunday on Dateline NBC. The Outside Groove has obtained an advance copy of this segment, and here's some of the more interesting facts that Rusty revealed:

--Has, in fact, never once lived...The High Life.

--He and Ryan Newman can only agree on one thing--Terminator 3 was a pretty good movie.

--Often enjoys a cold tall bottle of water spritzed with beer. Oh, I mean Miller Lite.

--At Thanksgiving dinner, Kenny never volunteers to help carve the turkey, and Mike ALWAYS takes second helpings on the stuffing before anyone else.

--The Trackside Live set smells funny.

--Travis Kvapil is made entirely out of ketchup.

--Roger Penske? Commie pinko.


Texas "News" and Notes

Ryan Newman, despite running the fastest lap in qualifying, will be forced to drop to the back of the field, after a crash on his second lap. When he walked by Rusty Wallace after the wreck, he was heard saying, "Man, don't even START with me, man, don't even START!"

Tony Dorsett will be in Kurt Busch's pits this weekend as an honorary crew member. Insiders are anxious to see if anyone can pronounce his deceptively simple last name.

Centrix will be on the hood of Scott Riggs' car this weekend. You really get the feeling that Riggs, Valvoline, and the crew chief have everything in boxes right now, and are making REALLY awkward conversation with Nelson Bowers. will be sponsoring FitzBradshaw driver Carlos Contreras in the season's final Busch race, according to an announcement this week. Contreras will be fitted with an electronic shocking device in case he says "" by mistake.

Busch Series championship contender Clint...Bowyer will be running a special paint scheme for associate sponsor Timberland this week. Man, that is SO 1998.

3:1 Billy Gibbons will be there.
12:1 Buck Sholwalter will be there.
100:1 Anyone associated with the Dallas Mavericks will be there.


Hall of Fame Racing: The Fact Sheet

Here's some information that came out in the many press releases accompanying the team's introductory press conference:

--Co-owner Troy Aikman has been going to fellow Fox broadcaster (and fellow Nascar team co-owner) Terry Bradshaw to find out what not to do when running a race team.

--The team will be the first to have two Catch Can men on the pit crew--Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin.

--Terry Labonte was lured out of semi-retirement to run the car in the first five races, plus the two road courses. When asked how he felt about the increased load of races, Labonte stared at the interviewer for several minutes, then fell asleep.

--Tony Raines will take over the car for the duration of the season. And by duration, they mean till he has three straight DNF's, at which point Ward Burton will take over.

--The team's car was introduced with the number 96. It is unknown if this is a reference to the first Nascar team sponsored by Caterpiller (and driven by a Green brother, no less!), or the spacey pop-song "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterions.

--If the team runs into problems, expect for Bill Parcells to be called in to take the team to the Chase (complete with an ill-fitting polo shirt).


Mike Bliss Distances Self From Geek Squad Car

In a move that surprises no one, Mike Bliss, driver of the Net Zero @ Best Buy Chevy, has made every possible effort to distance himself from this week's "Geek Squad" special paint scheme.
"I was in no way consulted on this move, and in no way endorse it", Bliss explained in an interview earlier today. "I mean, Geek Squad? Why don't they just put me in a lavender station wagon with "I love kitties" on the hood?"
Geek Squad is a tech-service offered by Best Buy, in which computer experts (the "Geeks") are dispatched to homes. The large "Geek Squad" logo is plastered over Bliss's car for this weekend's race at Texas.
"I mean, could they have picked a worse place?", Bliss continued. "The fans here are pretty mercilous--I hear there's a movement to throw thick black glasses at me. They'd better not make the crew wear Geek Squad uniforms--that's where I draw the line."
The unusually embaressing sponsor will be in full force at Texas Motor Speedway, dispatching their famous black and white VW Beetles. Fans are expected to force the geeks to give them lunch money (which, at the track, is roughly $45), and ask them why they don't "quit punching yourself?"


BREAKING NEWS--Brunell in for Labonte

Joe Gibbs Racing has just announced that Mark Brunell will be finishing out the Nextel Cup season in the #18 Chevy, taking over for the departing Bobby Labonte.
"Mark gives us the opportunity to win now", team owner Joe Gibbs explained, "and we still think we have a chance to make the playoffs. I mean, the NFC East is tough, but we got a shot. Oh, wait, wrong team."
Brunell has proven adept at stepping into difficult situations and taking "average teams" to the next level. With Labonte inexplicably leaving the #18 car for the Ganassi 42, Gibbs acted quickly.
"Mark might not be as young as some of the other guys on our roster, but he can definately teach them a thing or two about winning", said Gibbs. Gibbs also noted that J.J. Yeley remains second on the depth chart, with Patrick Ramsey third.
It remains unknown if the #11 team will attempt to sign a proven backup to replace Terry Labonte, as rumors have both Ward Burton and Jeff George as being contacted.