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Daytona "News" and Notes--Special Dick Cheney Edition

Tomorrow, Dick Cheney will be in attendance for the Pepsi 400, paticipating in pre-race activities (whatever they are). In his honor, The Outside Groove does a special Cheney-themed preview of the race.

I was in attendance at the Washington Nationals home opener this year, where the reaction to Cheney was, approximately, "BOOOOOOOOOO!". However, Daytona is a much more conservative and, traditionally, pro-Republican area, so, the reaction should be more along the lines of, "BOOOOOOOOOO!"

Daytona is known for its heart-pounding action and heart-stopping wrecks, meaning that defibrulaters are being stationed around the track.

In the event of "the big one", Cheney will be moved to an undisclosed location.

Cheney is expected to spend most of the race screaming, tugging on his tie, and threatening to kill John Callipari. No, wait--that's JOHN Chaney.

Cheney was supposed to take a ceremonial lap around the track in Joe Nemechek's Army car, but somehow obtained several deferments.

Tony Stewart should be retroactively awarded the pole tomorrow morning, as Boris Said will be detained for "most likely" carrying weapons of mass distruction in his hair.

Somehow, Halliburton managed to bill Hendrick Racing $40,000 for a set of shocks.

2:1--Someone will hold up an "Impeach Cheney" sign.
5:1--Someone will hold up an "Impeech Cheyney" sign.
20:1--Someone will hold up an "Impeach Helton" sign.


Tha Commish

Lets take a look at the commissioners of the top four sports in America: Paul Tagliabue (NFL), Bud Selig (MLB), David Stern (NBA), and our very own Mike Helton (Nascar). Now, I know lots of you claim that there's a fifth "major sport", but I REFUSE to include foxy boxing on the list.

Previous Job
Tagliabue: Legal Counsel
Selig: Legal Counsel
Stern: Legal Counsel
Helton: Model, Tom Selleck-brand mustache combs

Tagliabue: Tags
Selig: Bud
Stern: The Pope
Helton: Slim (formerly The Big Guy)

Little-Known Fact
Tagliabue: Was an excellent basketball player at Georgetown (before John Thompson took over and stopped recruiting white people…well, besides Brendan Gaughan).
Selig: Owned the Milwaukee Brewers (Yes—they do exist!)
Stern: Brokered the franchise trade between the Buffalo Braves and the Boston Celtics, unleashing upon the world the nightmare that was the Clippers.
Helton: Loves that Marmaduke!

Biggest Success
Tagliabue: Billion-dollar TV deals.
Selig: Interleague play; pissing off Bob Costas (tie).
Stern: Taking the sport worldwide (you’re welcome, Yinka Dare!).
Helton: Keeping Bruton Smith in check.

Biggest Failure
Tagliabue: Couldn’t stop franchise movements of the 90’s.
Selig: He’s not here to talk about the past.
Stern: Balancing act of marketing sport to rich suburbanites while retaining urban roots. Oh, and all the arrests.
Helton: Its all white guys!

Biggest Controversy
Tagliabue: Anything involving the word “Al”, immediately followed by the word “Davis”.
Selig: Roids, roids, roids!
Stern: “Malice at the Palace” (made somewhat hilarious by the fact that Bill Walton was present).
Helton: Didn’t give Dale Earnhardt Jr. a special exemption into the 2005 Chase.

Henpecked By:
Tagliabue: Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN.
Selig: The union.
Stern: Nobody. Nobody.
Helton: Pretty much anyone in the France family.

Most Embarrassing Moment:
Tagliabue: Having to announce Eli Manning being drafted by San Diego.
Selig: Getting photographed the All-Star Game during the split second he was shrugging his shoulders.
Stern: Uh, have you SEEN any pictures of him from the 80’s?
Helton: The whole fiasco.

Looks Like
Tagliabue: Your middle-school principal.
Selig: The guy in front of you at the supermarket who can’t figure out how to swipe his credit card
Stern: Your company’s Vice President who insists on pitching in the annual softball game.
Helton: Every cop in the USA.

Office is in…
Tagliabue: New York
Selig: New York
Stern: New York
Helton: A big white trailer.

Lasting legacy
Tagliabue: Kept the league at the top of the sports hierarchy.
Selig: Wasn’t Fay Vincent.
Stern: Launched the career of Bill Simmons.
Helton: Replaced a series sponsor whose product KILLED people with a sponsor whose CHIRPING PHONES DRIVE ME INSANE!!!


Two Guys From Virginia

Recently, Ward Burton has been rumored to be the leading candidate to replace Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing. Furthermore, he'll be in the pits this weekend at Daytona. What would it be like if Ward and potential teammate Elliott Sadler were to talk about their future? Lets take a look:

Ward Burton: Elliott, is that you my friend?

Elliott Sadler: Why, if it isn't my old chum Ward Burton! How have you been whiling away the days?

Burton: Oh, just the typical days of an unemployed millionaire--charity functions, sport hunting, and the like.

Sadler: Exquisite! Say--now, I hope I'm not being too inquisitive, but there has been a rumor tranversing the garage that you might be joining our humble corporation next season.

Burton: Oh, it could be true, my fellow Commodore, but we must see how the situation presents itself. As a wise man once said, "The future is what we make of it." Oh, drat, here comes a reporter.

Reporter: Ward! Elliott! Funny to see you two together! Ward--what are you plans for 2007?

Ward: Ah see mahself drivin uhgeen in tha Nashcahr Cuhp Series. I'da love tuh be wit a great Fow-ahd team like Mistah Yateses.

Elliott: Ah'd be jus tickled to death to hava teammate lahke Wahhhd heyar.

Reporter: Great, that's all I need--I'll catch up with you guys later!

Elliott: Ah, this is the life, my compatriot!

Ward: It is, Elliott, it is.


700 American Revolutions Per Minute

By the end of the summer, GM will submit their new Chevy engine for 2007. Here's some of the new features available:

--Hybrid engine for longer races, and to appease Al Gore.

--Only 60% of the costs go to employee health insurance, instead of the previous model's 70%.

--Secret microchip shoots lasers at anyone wearing a Panama hat.

--With a lot of hard work and a little luck, it should be almost 3/4 as fast as Toyota's engine.

--It WASN'T built by Menards.

--Extra back-up pistons in case of failure (a late addition by Tony Stewart).

--Will be made round-the-clock to ensure back-stock for expected strikes in 2007, 2008 (May) and 2008 (June).

--At the behest of Nascar, employs NO cutting-edge technology of any kind.


How I Miss You, Mr. Wendy

A quick recap of today's race coverage of the Dodge/Save-Mart 350:

Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Cheech Marin Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato Baked Potato


Found in This Week's Nascar Scene Classifieds

Do you have a valid drivers license?
Are you 18 or older?
Are you not a drug addict?

Then you have what it takes to be a Busch Series substitute driver!

With Nascar scheduling numerous Busch races away from Cup races, there's a burgeoning market for experienced, well-mannered drivers. All you do is show up, practice, qualify, and leave quietly when the races starts!

You can join such luminaries as: Casey Atwood, Hank Parker Jr., Dennis Setzer, and Randy LaJoie! Just think--all the work, and NONE of the glory!

So join up today to become a Busch Series substitute driver--remember, why race to win, when you can race to race?


Infineon "News" and Notes

Once again, Nascar makes its annual trek to Northern California, where dozens of drivers will make the pilgrimage to the birthplace of their longtime mentor, Tupac Shakur.

Twice a year, Nascar races on road courses. To gain some marketing momentum, other sports have picked up on this form of scheduling. For instance, weeks 4 and 12 of the NFL schedule will feature Canadian rules. Major League Baseball will play the 2nd week of August with a legal spitball. And the NBA will open its 2007 season with a week of no arrests--its so different!

Infineon might not have the historic signifiance of Watkins Glen, nor the racing appeal of Riverside. However, they have developed a strong tradition of their own: having 10 million viewers ask themselves "Who the heck is Tom Hubert?" every single year.

Pedigree is running a contest to see which Fox broadcaster's dog looks the most like its master. Yes, its official: Fox has run out of ideas.

After his strong qualifying run, Boris Said was greeted by Dr. Dick Berggren in a "Said Head" wig. Yes, its official: Speed has run out of ideas.

I'm sorry, but its just not a road course race without Jimmy Spencer complaining about it.

4:1 Mike Smith will do a "Stockcartoons" comic about "Racing in Whine Country"
10:1 I did that joke last year.
100:1 Anyone will notice.


Two REALLY Bad Jokes

Today was a particularly long day at work. Typically, when this happens, I get through the day by thinking up corny, bizarre, and ultimately offensive jokes. I've never revealed them...UNTIL TODAY. Here below are two of these jokes from the innermost regions of my brain:

Q: Why did the ST Motorsports souvenier trailer only have Jon Wood merchandise?
A: Turns out they were Straight Outta Compton.

Q: Now that Jeff Green's owner is in jail, what is his number one concern?
A: Taking it up the Haas.

That's Mighty Funny!


Another "Weird Mike" Mackler Song Presentation

To the tune of "Mr. Roboto" by Styx

All of my fans ask why—How could I be that guy?
Some even will deny—And say it is a lie.

The truth is really, well what you’re saying, its not very nice
You say you’d never, but I know you would, if for the right price
So when you see me, in a Camry, don’t yell and boo
I’m just a driver, like any other, whose wallet just grew

I'm not a robot—I’m not Matt Kenseth, I’m not what you think
And no its not like, I’ve been here winning, we are the weak link
I'm not a villian, I'm not a traitor, forget what you’re told
I’d rather have stayed, and kept my sponsor, but I was too old

All of my fans ask why—How could I be that guy?
Some even will deny—And say it is a lie.

Domo arigato, ole’ Michael Waltrip, domo...domo
Domo arigato, ole’ Michael Waltrip, domo...domo
Domo arigato, ole’ Michael Waltrip, domo...domo
Thank you very much, ole’ Michael Waltrip
For taking a hit from all of the Nascar fans
And thank you very much, ole’ Michael Waltrip
For helping me get paid and helping my dealer plans
Thank you-thank you, thank you
I want to thank you, please, thank you

The schedule is a pain—especially when there’s rain.
So I will finally gain—and go against the grain.

And now I can afford
To throw away the Ford
So ditch the big brown truck
Here’s who I am, good luck…


Today's Special Guest Villian...Jeff Gordon

Today, Jeff Gordon honed his social skills by guest-hosting "Live with Regis and Kelly", in place of Regis Philbin. In case you didn't see it (and I seriously hope that you didn't), here's what you missed:

--Jeff laughed heartily, then chuckled and reminded co-host Kelly Ripa that he does not work as a New York City cab driver.

--When asked if he was still single, Gordon launched into a 15-minute diatribe on the unfairness of divorce laws in the United States towards men.

--Gordon spent much of the show praising actress Wendie Malick (yes, that's how she spends her name) for her superb acting work on "Just Shoot Me". He also admitted that, while growing up, he wasn't allowed to watch "Dream On".

--Guests were forbidden to make any reference to the horrid Nascar Top 10 fashion show the program held last year.

--Gelman? Pinko Commie.

--Jeff was supposed to guest host on Thursday, but refused to be in the same room as "...that hack Adam Sandler." In a press statement, Sandler replied "ahhh...ahhh doobie doo...doobie dabbie doo."

--The audience was largely receptive to Gordon's appearence, with one exception: A Mr. Jay Ski was forceably removed when he submitted a question to Gordon asking "Who willl drivE the 25 car net year?"


Who the Heck is David Gilliland?

The Nascar world was shocked this week, as Robby Gordon spun out in a race without hitting anyone. But David Gilliland's win in Saturday's Busch race was pretty surprising as well. Here's some information on Mr. G that you probably don't know:

--His crew chief is Bill Wilburn, formerly of Penske Racing South. Sure it was tough taking a part-time rookie to victory lane with an unsponsored team, but its still easier than working with Rusty Wallace.

--Next week, Dave will be in the Dutch Quality Stone car at Sonoma, which means that you can say "David Gilliland rocks", but you'll still sound like a cornball.

--Though a young driver with limited experience, Gilliland's win means that no Busch Series regular has won this year. See, David Green--THAT'S why no one promotes you guys.

--At 30 years old, Gilliland is already much too old for a Cup career--no one starts their Cup career after 28 anymore (well, except Boris Said).

--Gilliland beat a strong entry by J.J. Yeley for the checkers, putting Gilliland in victory circle before Yeley. Well, Mr. Gibbs, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.


Michigan "News" and Notes

Its official--Casey Mears is going to the 25 Hendrick Chevy in 2007, continuing to prove that if you're marginally talented, have a presentable look, and are related to a legend, you can keep getting rides.

Sprint is expected to officially announce the renaming of the Nextel Cup Series in 2007 this week. The new name? The Sprint Presents The Sprint Cup Sprint Series Presented by Sprint.

Upon further review, Jeff Gordon's wreck at Pocono was found to have registered 64G's. The last time I saw that many G's was at an Eminem concert. (Folks!)

After lapping the field for the win in Friday's ARCA event, David Stremme enter's Sunday's race optimistic that he can find a new way to screw things up.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. runs a special Ralph Earnhardt paint scheme this Sunday. The verdict is still out on whether or not Dale Jarrett will run a special Glenn Jarrett paint scheme at Daytona.

EVEN--The phrase, "The Irish Hills of Michigan" will be used 1,000 times.
3:1--Bill Lester will receive an inordinate amount of coverage (you know how much Nascar loves to spotlight engineers).
50:1--Terrence Mathis' official entry into Nextel Cup will have any effect on anything.


What if Drivers had to Work for their Sponsors? PART 5


Kevin Lepage (No one): “Hi, I need to reapply for unemployment, please.”

Michael Waltrip (NAPA): “Look, Mike—you’re a great salesman and an enthusiastic worker. But you can’t sell pizzas when you’re on the clock here. And we’ve already talked about renting out the stock room as a hotel.”

Jeff Green (Best Buy): “TV’s are up there. So what? Get it yourself. I don’t care how high up it is—I ain’t on commission.”

Dale Jarrett (UPS): “I don’t care HOW many old women are on my route—I’m NOT wearing the shorts!”

Tony Raines (Texas Instruments DLP): “Look, I’ll admit it—even I don’t know what we do here.”

Carl Edwards (Office Depot): “What’s it gonna take me to put you in a brand new office chair?”



What if Drivers had to Work for their Sponsors? PART 4


Elliott Sadler (M&M’s): “Hello, everyone! I’m Elliott, the Yellow M&M! Welcome to the Grand Opening of the Wimington SuperFresh! And remember, punching the Yellow M&M in the stomach IS a misdemeanor!”

David Stremme (Lone Star/Coors): “Welcome to Lone Star tonight, can I start you off with some drinks?”Dad: “I’ll have a Coors Light.”
Mom: “I’ll have a Coors Light, too.”Grandpa: “Another Coors Light for me.”
Kid: “I’ll just have a water, please.”
Stremme: “OK, that’s four waters.”

Reed Sorenson (Target): “Guys? Uh, what’s with the bow and arrows? Guys…OW!”

Casey Mears (Texaco): “Just use some 10W…aw, hell, I don’t care, I’m leaving here in a few months anyways—got me a job at the bank! From now on, its no more C-Mears for me—y’all can call me G-MAC! G-MAC WHAT?!? G-MAC WHAT?!?”

Bobby Labonte (Cheerios): On the inspection line: “Good…good…good…good…good…good—wait, these ones are square…good…good…”

Kyle Petty (Wells Fargo): “Guys, our new CD’s are as strong as my pony tail—and that’s pretty dang strong.”

Jimmie Johnson (Lowe’s): “You need a spreader? What’s that for? Oh, very funny, my eyebrows. Yeah, that’s the 18th time I’ve heard that one this week.”



What if Drivers had to Work for their Sponsors? PART 3


Tony Stewart (The Home Depot): Customer Service Clerk: “It doesn’t matter—you can’t return an item after 30 days without a receipt. Now if you don’t leave quietly, I’ll have to get Mr. Tony to escort you out.”

Ken Schrader (Little Debbie/Air Force): “This is Shredder to air base, Shredder to air base. We have positive ID on the target, preparing to launch missiles at the Keebler factory.”

Dave Blaney (Caterpillar): Co-worker: “Dude, Dave still works here? I thought he was fired years ago.”

Jeff Gordon (DuPont): At a speech at the Experimental Station: “And so you see, by combining synthetic polymers, bio-engineered chemical compounds, and a drop of Pepsi, we’ve been able to create the world’s perfect driver! Capable of speeds in excess of 220 MPH, boyish good looks, and a superior memory for all of his sponsors. Unfortunately, it DID take us many years and false starts to create this specimen, but don’t worry—we’re shipping all the rejects to a place that will take any driver—Keith Coleman Racing!”

Brian Vickers (GMAC): Supervisor: “Look, Brian—I don’t CARE if you’re leaving at the end of the week—you’ve STILL got to process these loan applications. And you’d BETTER not apply for unemployment.”

Jamie McMurray (Crown Royal/Irwin Tools): “Ahh…nothing’s better than a nice glass of Crown Royal…except a nice glass of Crown Royal mixed with a power drill!”

Kevin Harvick (GM Goodwrench/Reese’s): “Well, ma’am, here’s the problem. I checked the engine, and it looks like some grout got into your piston. Then again, maybe your piston got into some grout. Either way, it’ll be $1,200.”

Jeff Burton (Cingular): “Hello, thank you for calling Cingular, formerly AT&T Wireless, formerly SBC Wireless, soon to be AT&T Wireless—how may I direct your call?”

Travis Kvapil (Tide): “Unclean…UNCLEAN—world is UNCLEAN!”



What if Drivers had to Work for their Sponsors? PART 2


Robby Gordon (Harrah’s/Jim Beam/Menards): “Dang, I’m down $300 on the blackjack tables. Man, I need a drink. And a box of nails.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Budweiser): “So, as you can see, gentlemen, by penetrating the 22-32 year-old male range with lighter options, and keeping a focus on the Latin market, we can increase shareholder wealth by over 8% next fiscal year.” (Assuming he goes into upper-level management)
Kasey Kahne (Dodge Dealers): “Can I take $500 off the price? I dunno, I’m going to have to go ask my supervisor, Mr. Mayfield.”

Scott Riggs (Valvoline/Stanley): “Keep pouring…keep pouring…there. The hair is perfectly shaped. Now let’s get the level to make sure everything’s in order…yep, the bubble’s in the center.”

Denny Hamlin (FedEx): Customer: “Is this your last stop today?”Denny: “Yep, though truth is, there’s never a last stop. I never had a job before I started driving for FedEx—never got to see the world, experience society. And now, here I am, in this job till the day I die.”
Customer: “Um…OK…can I just have package now?”

Ryan Newman (Alltel): “Look, I don’t care if you’ve moved to Lancaster, PA and joined the Amish—I’m NOT letting you out of your contract.”

Sterling Marlin (Waste Management): “Mr. Buontempo—certain promises were made to the family when we allowed you influence on the West Side. Those promises are not being met. I’d like to keep you on my good side, Mr. Buontempo—you don’t want to see my bad side.” (Assuming he’s in labor relations)

Greg Biffle (National Guard/Subway/Post-It/Travelodge/Jackson Hewitt): “Jeez, I got five jobs and I STILL haven’t paid off my credit card debit.”

Matt Kenseth (DeWalt): “I, and I alone, must stop the Ryobi tools sales rep!”

J.J. Yeley (Joe Gibbs): “87 Right Rocket A…87 Right Rocket A…Hut Hut Hike!”

Jeremy Mayfield (Dodge Dealers): “Can I take $500 off the price? I dunno, I’m going to have to go ask my supervisor, Mr. Kahne.”



What if Drivers had to Work for their Sponsors? PART 1

When it comes to their sponsors, drivers have it pretty good. They shake a few hands, sign a few autographs, laugh at a few bad jokes by the CEO, and they’re done. But shouldn’t drivers do more? Wouldn’t the sponsor benefit even more if their driver actually worked for them? Let’s take a look at how that would work out for the drivers:


Joe Nemechek (Army): “OK, privates—you are NOT permitted to make fun of the rectangular shape of my head. You are NOT permitted to joke about my association with a New York wine maker. And you are NOT allowed to stuff Burger King wrappers in my pockets. Are we clear?!?”

Clint…Bowyer (Jack Daniels/DirecTV): “Look…I don’t care HOW steep the roof is, call my boss if you wanna. I install satellite dishes BETTER when I’ve hadda few. Now gimme the flask!”

Martin Truex (Bass Pro Shops): “What’s it gonna take me to put you in this boat today? A gun? Because we got those here too.”

Kurt Busch (Miller Lite): “Do you know who I am?!? I’m the top driver for this company! So let me pull my side loader into the liquor store—I got drunks to service!”

Scott Wimmer (AERO Exhaust): (trying to sound enthusiastic) “Yes, a $2,000 exhaust system is just what you need to ‘pimp out’ your ’98 Cavalier.”

Kyle Busch (Carquest/Kellogg’s): Kyle’s Boss: “Now, Kyle, this is the fourth time we found Frosted Flakes in the carburetor of the company pickup. Don’t make me revoke your driving privileges.”
Mark Martin (AAA): Mark: “I’m just blessed—BLESSED—to be working for such a great GREAT company, and to be in the presence of such great people as you guys.”Motorist: “That’s great Mark, but I just need you to change my tire.”



The Outside Groove Least Popular Driver Award--Winner!

And the votes are in! With more than THREE times the votes of any other driver, The Outside Groove is proud to announce the Least Popular Driver Award winner of 2006:

Scott Wimmer!

The fans have confirmed what we've seen for years--that Scott is dedicated to staying as far below the radar as possible. Whether its by signing with Bill Davis Racing--a team that defines mediocre--or failing to record even one memorable quote, Scott has shown a commitment to unexpected.
Even Scott's fleeting moments in the limelight have been textbook examples of how to stay out of the spotlight. What happened when he got pulled over for DUI? He refused to berate the police officer and took his punishment like a man. What was his most brutal injury? An inner-ear infection. And what did he do with his time on Nascar Drivers: 360? Spent it looking like the most whipped man on the planet.
What put Scott over the top was his decision in the offseason to leave Bill Davis Racing. With his old team ready to enter the headlines with a move to Toyota, Scott left, and then went to the most uncompetitive full-time team in the sport, Morgan-McClure.
congratulations Scott--you've earned it! And what did Scott Wimmer have to say about winning this prestigious award? What any true Least Popular Driver would say:

"No Comment."


Pocono "News" and Notes

Remember to vote for The Outside Groove Least Popular Driver Award--voting ends Sunday at midnight!

Brian Vickers has asked permission to leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season. Vickers has refused to say which team he'll be with in 2007, but his recent quote to Nascar Live--"A new gives me wiiings!"--was a dead giveaway.

Soon after the Vickers announcement, Casey Mears was pegged as leaving Chip Ganassi to run in Vickers' old ride. Expect a staggering drop in hair gel expenses at Hendrick next season.

Meanwhile, UPS has been rumored to go to the #9 Dodge, driven by Kasey Kahne. Just think about it, all the teeny-bopper fans, all those screeching girls--dressed head-to-toe in BROWN.*

Another expected sponsorship maneuver has CitiFinancial moving up from the Busch Series to sponsor the Yates #88 Ford next year. C'mon, CitiFinancial, we know you just want to move up to get the 38 team's M&M's.

Amid all of this, Jeremy Mayfield reiterated that he is staying with Evernham through 2007. No word on if anyone asked for this information.

3:1 Gear ratios will be discussed for at least 30% of the telecast.
8:1 Pocono will be referred to as "The Superspeedway that thinks its a Roadcourse".
100:1 Pocono will be referred to as "The Superspeedway that thinks its exciting."

*--my mom's joke


Junior to Run Bud Bowl Special Paint Scheme


Even in the heat of summer, sports fans’ minds turn to football. So it was greeted with great excitement today when Budweiser and Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced a special “Bud Bowl” paint scheme for the season’s finale at Homestead.
“Ever since I was a kid, I grew up watching the Bud Bowl”, explained a beaming Earnhardt. “I always wanted to grow up to be like those legends Budway Joe, Billy Bud and Bobby Bud, and, of course, The Freezer (The Appliance of Defiance). Today, I realize that dream.”
The Bud Bowl is an annual football game between the top players from Budweiser and Bud Light. In recent years, the game has been without a television home, but will see coverage this season on AATV: The Network for Drunks.
“We see great things again for the Bud Bowl, and, as you all know, your event is nothing without a special paint scheme”, elaborated Budweiser President of Marketing and Funny Dogs, Scott Wilson. “And collectors, don’t you worry—we have the kids in China making the 1:24’s already!”
Earnhardt commented on the irony of running for Budweiser, when he “…grew up a life-long Bud Light fan. I mean, they were always the underdog—they were the Buffalo Bills of CGI animation.”
Earnhardt also slyly avoided naming a favorite for this year’s matchup. “Both teams are strong—you just have to look at their rosters. Bud Light has the more explosive offense, with quarterback Tom Beerdy, tailback Illdrinkagain Tomlinson, and tight end Jeremy Sudsley. But Budweiser brings a stout defense—guys like Lofa Tapbrewtwo and Dwight Frosty—plus you never count out a team coached by Bill Beerachik.”
“Any way you slice it, it’ll be a hell of a game, and I’m just glad to be involved in it. Because typically at Homestead, I’m not involved in anything.”

Vote! Vote! Vote!

The polls are still open to vote for The Outside Groove Least Popular Driver Award. Check out the nominees below, then send a comment with your vote today! By the way, I left the immortal Derrike Cope off the list because he doesn't have the prerequisite 10 Cup starts by Dover.


The Outside Groove Least Popular Driver Award

The Outside Groove is pleased to announce its sponsorship, organization, and catering of Nascar's newest award: The Least Popular Driver. For years Nascar has bestowed an award upon the driver most beloved by fans (and Darrell Waltrip). The Outside Groove, however, has a different approach.
When we say "Least Popular Driver", we're not talking about drivers you hate. Think about it--you might not like Kyle Busch, but you know who he is, and you get mad if he wins. We're talking about people you really DON'T care about. These are the guys who redefine mediocre--they're the Minnesota Twins of Nascar, successful enough to keep their jobs, but nowhere near electrifying. There's only one requirement for the award: The driver must have competed in at least 10 races as of Dover. Also, rookies were left out by way of coddling. Best of all, YOU vote for the winner! (more info below). And now, the nominees, chosen by a comprehensive committee of the voices in my head:

Jeff Burton: Yes, he's been around for years, contended for a championship, and campaigns regularly for safety initiatives. But when was the last time you saw a Jeff Burton fan? Being sponsored by Nextel's biggest competitor doesn't help to get much exposure either.

Casey Mears: He gets a ride with a major team, he has impressive lineage, and what does he have to show for it? A runner-up finish at Daytona and a bad haircut. When you're too boring for Target, something is definately wrong.

Jeff Green: Here's a guy best known for getting into arguments with Kevin Harvick. Other than that, his career highlight is driving the Cartoon Network car. Its like they took one great driver, then split him three ways into the Green brothers.

Scott Riggs: By all accounts (my own included) Scott's a great guy. But at any point have you thought to yourself, "Yeah, go Riggs!" or "Damn you Riggs!"? Its usually more along the lines of "Oh, that's the guy who missed Daytona."

Brian Vickers: Sure he's put together some strong runs, and sure he had that spot on The Daily Show. But he seems to be the "base model" for Nascar's crop of young guns.

Dave Blaney: Seriously, how does this guy keep getting jobs?

Jeremy Mayfield: Funny commercials aside, this guy surprised us all by making the Chase in 2004. Then he surprised us again by making it in 2005. When sustained above-averageness is surprising, something's wrong.

Scott Wimmer: Hurtling toward Tim Fedewa-like obscurity.

Travis Kvapil: Besides a knack for chosing teams on the verge of bankruptcy, hasn't done much of anything to excite.

And that's the list. Send in a comment to this article with YOUR choice for The Least Popular Driver from the list above. The winner will be announced later this week. Remember--voting is keen!


...from Dawsonville

Exerpt from today's press conference in which Bill Elliott was named to drive the Red Bull car in three races this year:

"This is just an awesome opportunity for me and the Red Bull boys. I'm just tickled to death to run for such an awesome team. It was awesome runnin' the full schedule for so many awesome years, but now I have awesome free time. If it wasn't for my awesome semi-retirement, I wouldn't've had the awesome chance to drive for such an awesome team. You know what they say--'Red Bull gives you awesome wiiings!' I don't know what awesome car we'll be driving yet, but it'll sure be awesome once I get in it. And my ride with Michael Waltrip? Well, there's just one word I can think of to describe it--crap."


Rocket Man

Besides his work with animals and robotic personality, Ryan Newman is also best known for his nickname, "Rocket Man". However, Newman is far from the first "Rocket Man" in history. Lets take a look at some of the other Rocketeers that came before him:

Rahib "Rocket" Ismail--Played in the CFL and NFL for most of the 90's as a speedy wideout. Most memorable moment came in an NFL on Fox promo where they described Dallas (his team at the time), as having a "Rocket in their pocket". Creepy.

"Rocket" Roger Clemens--Psychotic starting pitcher, possibly the greatest of our time. So far, he's been as committed to retirement as Bill Elliott. Fun fact: When under hypnosis, he thinks he's a chicken.

"Rockit" by Herbie Hancock--The jazz/fusion pioneer (you've probably heard your hipster friends play it for you in their car) wrote this song in 1984. The trippy video was one of the first featuring a black artist on MTV. Currently, MTV has yet to show a video by a white artist since 2002.

"Rocket" Richard--A legendary hockey player for the Montreal Candadiens, who indirectly instigated the "Richard Riot" of 1955. Reportedly this is the last known example of people of French descent showing any sort of resistance.

"Rocket Man"--Song by Elton John, heard incessantly on classic rock radio formats across America. But for my money, the definitive version is THIS ONE, by William Shatner.


Dome Alone

A few years ago, rumors began to float about a proposed track around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The most striking piece of information was this: It was going to be completely enclosed. Most fans (including myself) had this reaction:

"What?!? Are they serious? Why the hell would you build a domed race track? How have domes helped anything in any sport, anyway? Just look at the Metrodome, the Kingdome, even the Astrodome--big boxes with no personality. And what about the sound and smoke? You'll probably leave the track with no hearing and clogged lungs. There's no chance that thing will ever get a race date, much less be built."

However, after two days at a racetrack filled with heat, humidity, and rain, most fans (including myself), have this reaction:
"Man, I really wish they'd put a roof over this thing."


Dover "News" and Notes

Ricky Rudd qualified the Home Depot Chevy 10th for Sunday's race, but the car will drop to the back of the field once Tony Stewart starts the race (only to be replaced by Rudd soon after). To preserve their starting spot, Rudd has been instructed to mimic Stewart at all times, including not shaving, refusing to sign autographs, and aquiring a monkey. No one will be the wiser...NO ONE!!!

Derrike Cope will start Sunday's race, after being unable to sell his ride this week. All Chad Chaffin could offer him was seventeen dollars and a hell of a nice watch.*

J.J. Yeley's Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy will feature Imitrex on the hood this weekend. Imitrex is a medicine designed for migraine headaches. Joe Gibbs knows all about headaches--he works for Dan Snyder.

After the success of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s "Black Car" at Talladega, honoring his father, he will be running a "Cream Car" at Michigan, honoring his grandfather. Later this year (reportedly at New Hampshire), Junior will run a "Mud Car", honoring his distant predecessor, Caveman Og Earnhardt.

2:1 Delaware institution Sambo's will be referenced on air.
10:1 Delaware institution Grotto's Pizza will be referenced on air.
500:1 Institutionalized Delawarian Mike Mackler will be referenced on air.

*If you get this joke, you're alright by me.


Champ Car Accuses Nascar of Making it Suck

Champ Car (formerly CART, formerly IndyCar) continued to lob accusations at Nascar today, accusing the successful stock car sanctioning body of making it suck so much.
"Its obvious that we, the purveyors of the only series of racing that matters, could not POSSIBLY be the ones responsible for putting out such an unpopular product.", explained Champ Car spokesman Scott Wilson. "Its all those guys down in Daytona, with their multi-million TV deals and their viable racing series."
Despite drops in TV ratings, profits, and overall interest, Champ Car has placed the blame for its woes squarely on Nascar. This comes as a startling about face, as the organization has previously placed the blame for its woes squarely on IRL.
"I don't care HOW many people watch their races, or HOW many people show up, or HOW much merchandise they sell", Wilson continued. "WE are the best racing in the world. I mean, who doesn't enjoy badly-funded teams follow the leader, tying up traffic in major downtown areas for days? Last time I checked, 50 millon Nascar fans CAN be wrong."
In a related story, the best open-wheel racers have continued a decades-long tradition of bypassing Champ Car for Formula One.