Saturday, February 28, 2009

IRWIN Industrial Tools® - Shelby 427 Weekend Live- Blog

NASCAR Race Mom will be "live-blogging" this Shelby 427 weekend. However, please note that the computer will not be monitored - 24/7. Nevertheless, you can leave your question and/or comment at anytime. As soon as we get back to the laptop, your contribution will be reviewed and added.

Click on the "Watch Now" play button to join the conversation.
Then enter your name and type your question or comment in the box below.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Ever Been Tempted To Enter A Contest?

Have you ever been tempted to enter a contest? You read the rules and marvel at the prizes; however then that little voice in the back of your mind scolds you. “Don’t waste your time. These things are always rigged – you, Average Joe, will never win a contest like this.”

Well I am here to tell you, do not listen to that inner voice. You can win that contest and earn a prize of a lifetime. My husband Paul entered the “Tell Us Your Vise Grip Story.” Of the approximate eight hundred and fifth entries, Paul’s was voted to be one of the top ten stories and he won a tool bag filled with IRWIN Vise-Grip pliers and wrenches with an estimated retail value of $550.00; a wonderful prize.

Then on January 9, 2009, he was notified that he made the cut into the top three contestants. This meant he would enjoy a trip for two to Las Vegas to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Shelby 427. Well the big event is almost here. Paul and I fly to Las Vegas tomorrow for the “Tell Us Your Vise Grip Story” Las Vegas Event.

We check-in to the hotel at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Paul and I will have to unpack in a hurry because at 6:00 p.m. we meet with some of the event staff and fellow contest winners at a Cocktail Reception. We will have to try to limit our entertainment that night because at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, we are scheduled to be in the lobby for our limousine ride to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Our son Moses races the #16 Hasa Pool Products Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, so we have been huge NASCAR fans for a while now. What a perfect prize package for us!

The agenda states that we will be treated to pit and garage tours prior to the race. I will have my camera (with extra batteries) ready. We were also informed that we will meet Jamie McMurray and Jeff Hammond for a Question and Answer session. This is my favorite part of the package. If you have a question you think I should ask either Mr. McMurray or Mr. Hammond, leave that question in the comment section of this post. I will try to get it answered for you.

We top off this once in a lifetime race experience by enjoying the Shelby 427 from the infield. I will attempt to keep you all informed (text and photos) via the live blogging software I successfully tested yesterday (Cover It Live)

So next time you read about that contest with the awesome prize that would rock your world - go for it. Remember our story and our wonderfully generous prize package!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NASCAR Race Mom Heads To Las Vegas For The Shelby 427

As most of my readers know, my husband Paul is a finalist in the IRWIN Industrial Tools, “Tell Us Vise-Grip Your Story” promotion. (Click Here For Details) As finalists, IRWIN Industrial Tools®, a Newell Rubbermaid® company and maker of the most reliable and versatile locking tools is flying us out to Las Vegas for the Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. We are thrilled to say the least. The Shelby 427 will be the twelfth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NASCAR Race Mom will be ‘test driving’ a live-blogging software in order to provide the readers with “real-time” updates. Hopefully, this is the same format that will be utilized to provide readers with an interactive communication tool for the NASCAR Camping World Series West ‘At The Track’ updates.

Ken Schrader The 2009 NCWSW season opener will be held at the Thunderhill Raceway, in Kyle, Texas on March 14th. Interesting fact: the first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR Camping World Series West race, which was won by Ken Schrader on November 2, 1996.

There are fifty-one cars are on the entry list for Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is the second time in three 2009 races that more than 50 cars will attempt to qualify. Forty-eight were at Fontana, California last weekend.

Among the new entries for Vegas is Max Papis in Germain Racing's No. 13. You can follow Mr. Papis on Twitter. (Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates {known as tweets}). To follow Max Papis on Twitter click here. You can also follow NASCAR Race Mom (me) on Twitter (click here)

Who will be in Victory Lane on March 1st at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway? Take a moment and vote in the NRM poll (located in the sidebar to the right). Will it be Carl Edwards, the defending champion at Las Vegas; or will Matt Kenseth manage his third straight win after capturing the first two races at Daytona and California?

Kenseth has a serious chance to become the first driver ever to open a season with three consecutive wins. He already has two wins at Las Vegas (2003-2004) and has led 438 laps there, more than any other driver.

While the statistics do not support my choice, I cast my vote for #26 Jamie McMurray (sponsored by Irwin Industrial Tools). In his six cup starts at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, McMurray has one top-five and two top-tens. However, he and his new crew chief Wingo are really working well together. I will be rooting for McMurray to capture his first Las Vegas win.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Auto Club Speedway - A Tad Disappointing

Nationwide Green Flag
Nationwide Green Flag

Well, we went to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide races at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Am I glad that we went – definitely yes; however, I was disappointed just a bit.

LunchBut before I get to that, the Camping World Infield area, designated for RV weekend camping, is enjoyable. The campground supplies a great atmosphere, with children and adults playing to their heart’s delight amid the roar of Sprint Car activity on track. My husband Paul and I enjoyed our time visiting with friends and family.

However, when we went to the stands to watch the race, track security stopped us for carrying an ominous backpack. Mind you this is the same backpack that we use when we fly to Moses’ NASCAR Camping World Series West races. We never have a problem getting on the plane with it. This is also the same backpack with which we walked into the track infield. I was under the false impression that track security just wanted to search the backpack for contraband. That was not the case.

For security reasons, that backpack was forbidden to enter the grandstands. We would have to purchase a “see through” backpack. Conveniently, they were for sale inside. We opted to hike the mile back to drop off the offending backpack in the trunk of our car.

All this nonsense would have been acceptable, if we did not watch the races amongst fellow fans sporting huge camera bags and lunch coolers. These receptacles were not “see through,” so how could the “no backpack” rule make anyone safer. It did not make sense to me and frankly made me furious.

Me and my DHNevertheless, anytime I get to see a NASCAR race, I am happy. However, the racing at the Auto Club Speedway turned out to be a tad lackluster. One cannot get around the fact that the fans only get a decent view of a third of the track. Secondly, the cars (or trucks) spread out so quickly that there really isn’t any actual racing happening on the track.

The action on pit lane was much more animated and exciting. The #99 BestWestern Toyota, driven by Michael Waltrip was actually spun on pit row by a competitor, serviced by his pit crew while facing backwards, and then Michael spun himself around to exit his stall to return to the track. The action brought one of the few roars from the crowd.

Kyle Busch's PitNow I know that Kyle Busch became the first driver to win twice in the same day on two of NASCAR’s top-three circuits. That should generate some enthusiasm on its own merit. Conversely, as a fan, it was rather unexciting to watch Busch pull away from the pack seconds after the green flag dropped. There was never a battle for the lead. Frankly, I did not watch Busch’s #51 truck or #18 Nationwide car at all during either race.

In the Camping World Truck Series, Gabi DiCarlo, in her Great Clips Toyota, became the twelfth female to start a truck series event. Her resume includes driving in the ARCA/REMAX Series for the past two seasons. She completed the race without incident. After qualifying twenty-third, Gabi finished just a lap down in nineteenth position. Fellow Camping World Series West Driver Brett Thompson, driving his family owned Rich Thompson Trucking Inc. Dodge managed a twenty-first place finish. DiCarlo and Thompson battled each other for much of the event for some interesting mid-pack racing.

Michael McDowell again proved that he does add energy to a race. After qualifying an outstanding third behind cup regulars Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, his car had problems soon after the Nationwide race began. Then in lap fifty-two, his #47 Tom's Snacks Toyota race car burst into flames after the engine blew up and spread debris all over the track. Luckily Michael managed to drive to the bottom of the track. He exited his vehicle quickly and without injury, but for a very bad points day.

Click Thumbnail For Video

Today’s Sprint Cup race could unearth history if Kyle Busch emerges the victor to become the first driver to win all three NASCAR races in the same weekend. However, my husband has to work, so my dangerous backpack and I will have to watch it all unfold on the television.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NASCAR Race Mom Heads To The Auto Club Speedway

So yesterday, I get a phone call from my daughter. We were suppose to meet for lunch, but she got hung up. Just off the hand she mentions, "when I get home, I have to hurry, 'cos I am going to the race at Fontana." My response, "$%^&*^%$#!"

Surprised by my outburst, my darling daughter adds, I have extra tickets if ya want to go . . . . She immediately became my favorite child. So I have to make this post brief because I am in the car and on the way to watch stock cars and trucks drive around a two-mile "D" oval very fast!

I will be keeping my eye out on Gabi DiCarlo in the truck race. She and Moses raced Speed trucks together. The DiCarlos are a nice family. This will be her first attempt at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and she qualified a very respectful 23rd out of a field of 37. Go Gabi!

Brett Thompson is another driver I will be rooting for. He is a semi-regular in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. His mother is super nice. Go Brett. He will be taking the green flag in 31st.

I already announced that Michael McDowell will be the driver I watch in the Nationwide race. It is good to see that the media gave him some nice coverage for his Raybestos Rookie of the Race award finish last week at Daytona.

Well, signing off for now - I will take plenty of photos and hopefully have an interesting story or two to relate. Thanks Mary Sherry!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

#47 McDowell - Raybestos Rookie of the Race

Last week, I picked Michael McDowell as my pick of the driver to watch for the season opener. Driver McDowell did not disappoint. Driving the #47 Tom's Snacks Toyota, his fourteenth place finish earned him the “Raybestos Rookie of the Race” award.

I was a bit disappointed with the television coverage of McDowell’s race to the front from his fourty-second (42) starting position. I watched the entire race and never once heard his name mentioned.

Although I try to avoid picking the same driver twice, I just have to pick him as my favorite underdog in the upcoming “The Stater Bros 300” to be held this Saturday at the two-mile D-shaped oval, the Auto Club Speedway in California.

From Michael McDowell’s Website:

McDowell Shines in Debut with Tom's Snacks Toyota - 02.14.09

Michael McDowell got his 2009 NASCAR season off to a solid start with a 14th place finish at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. He started the race from the 42nd position and put on an exciting performance as he worked his way into the top 10 by the race's mid-point.

"Daytona is a Superspeedway but is notorious for rewarding the cars that handle well especially on a hot sunny day. The guys built some extra downforce into our car so we knew we would struggle in qualifying, but once the race started the Tom's Snacks Toyota sure was fun to drive," stated McDowell.

The 24 year old Glendale Arizona native was also aided all day by lightning fast pit stops from the #47 "Snack Attack" pit crew.

Crew Chief Gene Nead, who is no stranger to winning NASCAR Championships, reflected on a solid day. "You always want to win, but when you don't, you need to leave Daytona with a finish that provides a solid points position for a year-end championship run. Michael and all the folks who work on this #47 team did a solid job and gave us a good start to a long season ahead."

McDowell is now 14th in NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

The Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, February 21st at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The race will also be broadcast live on MRN Radio at 7:00 p.m. ET. Two practice sessions are scheduled for Friday at 12:45 p.m. ET and 8:45 p.m. ET. Qualifying is slated for Saturday at 12:35 p.m. eastern.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Results from the “Cup Drivers Should Only Race Cup” Poll

This poll received a total of twenty-two (22) votes. The results surprised me. While the majority forty-five (45) percent of the voters agreed that the Sprint Cup Drivers should not be allowed to participate in Nationwide and Camping World Truck Serie events; the margins were much smaller that I had anticipated. Thirty-six (36) percent of the voters disagreed and nineteen (19) percent voiced no opinion.

Poll Results

I agree – 45%

I disagree – 36%

They bring more fans – 13%

They make the race more exciting to watch – 22%

They bring more media exposure to the race – 31%

They take away spots from the “up and coming’ drivers – 18%

They should not be allowed in the Nationwide or Truck Events – 4%

It’s ok for the rookies like Logano, but not the veterans – 22%

Votes were allowed in more than one category.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series West Season Is Rapidly Approaching.

NASCAR Race Mom (NRM) is a blog dedicated to the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series West Most Popular Driver, Moses Smith and the NASCAR Camping World Series West (NCWSW). You probably put it together from the blog’s title (NASCAR Race Mom); I am Moses’ proud mother. With that fact in evidence, here is my repudiation. “While I make every attempt to be impartial and unbiased, I am a mother who loves her sons – so understand who I am while you read what I have to write.”

With that yearly disclaimer in place, this author is extremely excited to be sharing her 2009 NASCAR experience in an interactive online live journal. My goal will be to attend all the NCWSW races and provide a two-way avenue of information sharing that will be timely and benefit the NCWSW fans who could not attend on race weekend. Readers will be able to ask questions in the comment sections and I will attempt to answer their inquiries.

Camping World Series West, Moses SmithThe Camping World Series East and West are the top level of NASCAR’s Developmental Series, featuring cars similar in design and appearance to those cars competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The NASCAR Camping World Series West (formerly known as the NASCAR Winston West Series, the NASCAR Grand National Division, Autozone West Series and the NASCAR West Series) is a regional stock car racing division of NASCAR.

The West Series was first formed in 1954 as a proving ground for drivers from the West who could not travel to race in the more traditional stock car racing regions like North Carolina and the rest of the South. Drivers who have raced in the West Series include Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland, Brendan Gaughan and Derrike Cope.

Kevin Harvick returned to the series to win the Iowa Speedway 200 on May 20, 2007. David Gilliland won the Blue Lizard Suncream 200 at Infineon Raceway on June 23, 2007. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne competed in the US Cellular 200 at the Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2008 and came in third behind winner Brian Ickler and Marc Davis.

Moses Smith 2008 Most Popular DriverNCWSW will kick off their 2009 season on 03/14/2009 with the Allstate Texas Thunder 150 in Kyle, Texas. Last year, twenty-two cars were entered in the race and eventual 2008 Series Champion Eric Holmes came out the victor. Moses qualified eighth and ran solidly. Unfortunately, during the white-flag lap, a damaged oil cooler let go, coating his tires with oil, making the No. 16 Toyota virtually impossible to drive. Moses fell back considerably, but managed to bring his vehicle to the finish line on the lead lap and in sixteenth place.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nationwide Series Entry List + New Poll

The preliminary entry list for Saturday’s season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway, is posted below. Among the drivers listed are fifteen Sprint Cup competitors (highlighted in yellow).

That brings us to the topic of our next NRM Poll. As a fan, do you like watching regular Sprint Cup drivers competing in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series events?

Express your opinion. Cast your vote in the “Cup Drivers Should Only Race Cup” poll posted in the sidebar to the right. You can pick more than one reply.

While we are on the subject of the Nationwide Series, let me go on record with my pick of the driver to watch for the season opener. Although the statistics do not agree with me, I will be keeping my eye on the young driver, Michael McDowell. While his two NASCAR finishes at Daytona were not stellar (25th in a Cup race and 27th in a Nationwide race), Michael finished tenth at Daytona in the ARCA Series in 2007. With this racer's drive, NASCAR Sprint Cup experience, and fervor, I believe he will prove to be a dark horse.

Along with launching a snazzy new website, Michael has just signed with a new team, JTG Daugherty Racing. He will be racing the #47 Toyota Camry and I believe that the team will be completive rather quickly. Gene Nead will serve as crew chief.

Incidentally, Michael and Moses have some racing history. They competed together in the Star Mazda Series in 2003 and 2004.

Saturday, June 28, 2003. Braselton, GA. Moses Smith (middle) clawed his way to victory in a thrilling one-lap shootout with Michael McDowell (right) and Luis Schiavo (left) at Road Atlanta.

Nationwide Series Entry List
(as of 02/09/2009)




Danny O'Quinn, Jr.


Mike Wallace


Mike Bliss


Jeff Green


Dale Earnhardt, Jr.


David Ragan


David Green


Travis Kvapil


David Reutimann


Scott Lagasse, Jr.


Justin Allgaier


Michael Annett


Greg Biffle


Matt Kenseth


Kyle Busch


Joey Logano


Robert Richardson


Eric McClure


Brian Keselowski


Jason Keller


Kenny Wallace


Clint Bowyer


Stanton Barrett


Brian Vickers


Kevin Harvick


Tony Raines


Jason Leffler


Scott Wimmer


Derrike Cope


Kenny Hendrick


Michael McDowell


Kertus Davis


Donnie Neuenberger


Larry Foyt


Carl Edwards


Brandon Whitt


Brendan Gaughan


Steve Wallace


Mark Green


Tony Stewart


DJ Kennington


Mike Harmon


Justin Ashburn


Joe Nemechek


Brad Keselowski


Morgan Shepherd


Johnny Chapman


Terry Cook


Michael Waltrip

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Shootout – The Field is Frozen at the Moment of Caution

White Flag Lap

According to the NASCAR Race Mom poll, the majority of the fans were not too happy with the changes made to the Budweiser Shootout this year. Only twelve percent of the voters in the NRM poll believed that it was time for changes in the shootout format. The remainder of the participants in the poll were evenly split (43.5%) between the notions, “Why break tradition” and “It is what it is.”

Rookies Joey Logano and Scott Speed were not allowed to showcase their skills, good or bad. They were wrecked out of Friday night's event at the Daytona International Speedway in less than five laps. The rookies were innocent victims of the first caution of the night that involve almost the entire twenty-eight car field.

"It sucks," Logano said after leaving the infield care center. "It's too early. I felt like we had a decent car for the first couple laps. I was just trying to get a feel for it before we went up there and mixed it up with everyone."

Another newcomer, A.J. Allmendinger turned in an uneventful but impressive run. Starting eighteenth, and avoiding multiple wrecks, Allmendinger brought his Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge to the finish line in fifth place.

I could not be more satisfied with my driver pick for the race, the #26 Crown Royal / Irwin car of Jamie McMurray. Well, I guess that is not quite true; a win would have been huge. However, as it is, McMurray, new Crew Chief Wingo and the entire Roush Fenway Racing team put on an impressive charge to the front from mid-pack. McMurray’s second place finish is his highest finish ever in the Shootout.

Jamie McMurray was leading at the white flag. The exciting “green, white, checkered” finish found Kevin Harvick’s car drafting past McMurray’s for the lead. Moments after that lead change, Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears touched off a wreck, behind the leaders, that brought out the eighth caution of the evening and froze the field. This gave Harvick the victory in the non-points season opener.

Click on Photo for Video

photo & video from NASCAR site

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Who Will You Be Watching In The Shootout?

The Budweiser Shootout will have the largest field in its thirty-one-year history tonight. Right off the line, rookies Logano and Speed will be on my radar, but not because I feel that they will be in the running. Rather, their entry in the Shootout seems unwarranted and given their recent racing modes*, they could negatively influence the outcome of this important first race of the NASCAR season. (*Logano’s last lap at the Toyota All-Star Showdown and Speed’s ARCA season finale)

If they had to qualify their way in, I would feel more charitable towards their participation. It should be interesting to see how well each driver adjusts to the “big time” and interacts with their fellow Cup drivers. Since my son has raced against both gentleman, I clandestinely hope that they will raise to this remarkable opportunity.

Now my driver for this race has to be Jamie McMurray. Driver McMurray will start the race right in the middle of the pack. While he did not have such a great run at Daytona last year, McMurray finished out the 2008 season on a hot streak with three podium finishes. Further, the last six 2008 races found the #26 in the top-ten five times and the top-five three times. Momentum can be central on team performance.

Additionally, the return of Crew Chief Donnie Wingo, who has more than fifteen years of NASCAR experience, makes good sense to me. Driver and Crew Chief already have history and a respect for each other. McMurray and Wingo worked together at Ganassi.

"Donnie and I have been friends for years," said McMurray. "Even when he wasn't my crew chief, I would still call and talk to him - not just about racing - but anything. He is one of the hardest workers I know, so to be able to have him come over to Roush Fenway and be a part of this No. 26 Crown Royal / IRWIN Industrial Tools team is really exciting.

Lastly, Jamie McMurray has a good history at the Daytona International Speedway. He won the Pepsi 400 there on July 7, 2007. In twelve starts, McMurray has one win, two top-five, and three top-ten finishes.

Okay, now you know who I will be cheering on. Who is your favorite Budweiser Shootout driver?

Friday, February 6, 2009

UPDATE - IRWIN Industrial Tools, “Tell Us Vise-Grip Your Story”

The people at Irwin, Paul, and I are getting very excited as the planning for the IRWIN VISE-GRIP event progresses. The first bit of magnificent news came when the company announced that they could supply us with a more exciting trip by changing plans and hosting the event in Las Vegas, Nevada on the weekend of the NASCAR race. Just perfect for us!

Irwin explained that they thought they could provide a better prize package in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” They plan to fly us into Las Vegas on February 28th, treat us to the NASCAR race on March 1st, and then fly us home on March 2nd!

Wahoo, we will be going to the Shelby 427. As you know, I love NASCAR and attend all of my son’s (Moses Smith) Camping World Series West races, including the Toyota All-Star Showdown. However, I must confess that I have never had the pleasure of attending a Cup race in person. The closest I have gotten was attending the Nationwide Series race in Phoenix last April (Thank You Mark and Gloria from Hasa Pool Products).

The trip details are still sketchy, but as we learn them, you will be kept up-to-date. The only fact I have as yet is that we will be staying at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We have walked through the hotel during past trips to Las Vegas and were always in awe of its size and beauty. Now Paul and I will be staying there.

The Mandalay Bay Hotel boasts of 3,309 luxury rooms that are designed to show off world class elegance. Their casino is quite massive, covering 135,000 square feet of floor space and houses a wide variety of different games, from card games to slot machines. Mandalay Bay’s star attraction is the Shark Reef. This aquarium contains over one million gallons of saltwater and is an exotic scene where you can see a hundred different species of life. Included in these species are five of the twelve remaining golden saltwater crocodiles. As you can tell I am eager.

However, the Shelby 427 race (formally known as the UAW-Dodge 400) has me all keyed up. What an honor it will be to watch the Cup Series maneuver around this one and a half mile “D” shaped oval. Moses raced at LVMS during his Formula Mazda days, but we have never been there when the 142,000 seats were filled with fans. The camaraderie, bone-rattling noise and the sense of speed are going to be awe-inspiring.

Of course being guests of IRWIN Industrial Tools, we will be rooting for their car and driver, the #26 of Jamie McMurray. I did my homework via Race News Digest. Mr. McMurray has six cup starts at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway including a fourth place finish in 2004 and a tenth place finish in 2007. It will be intriguing to see how Driver McMurray and new Crew Chief Donnie Wingo mesh. Paul and I can't wait to cheer the #26 team on.

I hope that I get the chance to meet the driver. I would love to get an interview with him for this blog. If you have a question you think I should ask Mr. McMurray if I get the opportunity, please just leave it in the comment section. I am also hoping that I can get an autographed item from the driver of the #26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford. I would then run a contest and share that item to one of my readers.

Well that is all I know for now. Again as this exciting event unfolds, I will keep you informed. We will be blogging, complete with photographs, during this fantastic NASCAR Cup Race weekend! Thank you IRWIN Industrial Tools!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The 2009 Camping World Series West Season - Just A Month Away

The 2009 Camping World Series West season is just a month away. The first race on the schedule is in Kyle, Texas. The Allstate Texas Racefest is the only place in the country where fans will see both a NASCAR race and a USAC race at the same facility on the same day. The over-whelming success of the first four years has prompted officials to schedule the 2009 edition as the first race of the year for the NASCAR Camping World Series West on the unofficial but extremely coveted NASCAR “bye” weekend of March 14th.

Last year, Moses qualified eighth out of a field of twenty-two. He ran solidly in the middle of the pack thru six cautions when at lap 124, he and a competitor made contact after battling for position for several laps. A great driving effort by Smith kept the No. 16 HASA Pool Products Toyota on the pavement, but not without damage to the front of the car. On the white-flag lap, the damaged oil cooler let go, coating his tires with oil, making the No. 16 Toyota virtually impossible to drive. Moses briefly went off-track after he spun in the oil and was struck by a competitor. He quickly regained control finishing the race in sixteenth and on the lead lap.

Please visit our sponsors’ websites Hasa Pools, White Flyer and TCI Transportation.

Click on Bill McAnally Racing for more team information.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

IRWIN Industrial Tools®, “Tell Us Vise-Grip Your Story”

Irwin has been sponsoring a “Tell Us Vise-Grip Your Story” Contest since July 1, 2008. The stories were limited to a hundred (100) words or less essay about how your Irwin Vise-Grip have saved the day. IRWIN Industrial Tools®, a Newell Rubbermaid® company and maker of the most reliable and versatile locking tools, offered many great prizes including Irwin tools, trips to New York, Cabela’s gift cards and a grand prize of either a Custom Chopper or $25,000 cash.

Moses Smith is the driver of the Camping World Series West #16 Hasa Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota Camry. His father Paul sent in a story. You guessed it, it was race related. Irwin officially announced today that Paul’s entry was chosen as one of the top three entries in the promotion. (Click here to view announcement)

By making it into the top-ten finalists, Paul had already won a tool bag filled with Irwin Vise-Grip pliers and wrenches (ARV: $550). I am sure the MSR team will make good use of these multitalented tools.

Paul’s move into the top-three promises even more rewards. In addition to the trip to New York, he will receive $500.00 spending money. Further, we are still in contention for the top prize!

The Top – Three Prize Breakdown:
  • Grand Prize: Winner's choice of a) A custom all-new IRWIN Vise-Grip custom chopper (motorcycle) or b) $25,000.

  • First Runner-Up Prize: $1,000 Cabela's gift card

  • Second Runner-Up Prize: $500 Cabela's gift card
Boy that $25,000 top prize would sure help Paul and me with our 2009 race expenses. I could get that new laptop I need to do my ‘at the track’ updates. The readers would no longer have to hear complaints about my out-dated eight-year-old artifact. You can bet that the new laptop would be adorned with IRWIN Industrial Tools® stickers. Also, although the custom chopper is tempting, the cash would cover all our NCWSW travel expenses for 2009.

Hummm, talking about stickers, I wonder if the executives at Irwin would be interested in talking about sponsorship for Moses’ 2009 season? Do you think I should bring some autographed hats and t-shirts?

Paul and I are honored to be chosen one of the top three entries in the Irwin “Tell Us Your Vice-Grip Story” promotion and are looking forward to attending the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Tell Us Your Vise-Grip Story Press Event in New York, New York. The trip is to be completed by February 28th. This works perfectly into our schedule since Moses' first race, the Allstate Texas Racefest, in Kyle, Texas is not until March 14th.

We will be blogging about our trip and posting photos as well!

The 2009 Shootout Format - Good or Bad?

NASCAR arrives at Daytona International Speedway this week for Saturday night’s annual preseason classic, the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. There will be a new format for the Budweiser Shootout. In past years, the field was composed of pole winners from the prior season plus former champions. The smaller, “invitation-only” field will now consists of twenty-eight (28) cars; the top six teams of each manufacturer from the previous year, and four "wild cards." The starting lineup will be determined by a random draw.

From the beginning in 1979 until last year, the drivers themselves qualified as eligible for the Budweiser Shootout, not the teams. If an eligible driver for the upcoming Shootout switched teams in the off-season, the driver, not the team, was eligible for the race and that driver competed in the race with his new team.

Unlike previous formats, this year, the entry receives the berth, not the driver. If a driver finishes in the top six of his manufacturer, then departs his team at seasons' end, the driver who replaces him races in the event. For example, Tony Stewart would have been eligible had he stayed with Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 team, but he instead left to start his own team, and his replacement, Joey Logano, will drive the #20 in his place. In addition, each of the four manufacturers receives one "wild card" berth for a car/driver not already qualified, to bring the grand total to 28 cars.

Many race fans are of the opinion that this “wild card” entry was crafted so that driver Tony Stewart, who will be driving a Chevrolet rather than a Toyota in 2009, by virtue of the wild card rule, will be allowed to compete in the Budweiser Shootout. Others blame the change of sponsors; from Budweiser to Coors.

Is this new “Wild Card” format fair? I guess it would depend on which of the drivers you ask. Tony Stewart has to be pleased. However, drivers who earned a pole position in 2008, like Ryan Newman (Phoenix), Joe Nemechek (Talladega), Patrick Carpentier (New Hampshire) and Paul Menard (Daytona) but will not be in the Shootout due to the format changes are probably not too happy.

Express your opinion. Cast your vote in the “2009 Shootout Changes, Good or Bad” poll posted in the sidebar to the right.