LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:25 pm

Here ya go E, just for you buddy...

For Danica, 2013 could be over the top
Feb 13, 2013 1:29 PM ET | By Brant James



It was going to be an interesting year, already. Danica Patrick, one of the more polarizing drivers in recent memory, transitioning from a brief tutelage in NASCAR's Nationwide Series to stock car racing's big leagues, was certain to generate copious amounts of attention, praise, scrutiny and scorn.

Then came the announcement of Patrick's pending divorce last November. Then came rumors, and finally a confirmation, of a romantic relationship between Patrick and fellow Sprint Cup rookie of the year candidate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Now things are really interesting. With less than a week until Patrick's first full-time Cup campaign commences, here are 13 storylines certain to weave through the season.

1. More milestones: Though she has just one win as a big-league professional -- the Motegi, Japan, IndyCar race in 2008 -- she keeps reaching milestones first. That will continue this season.

The first female to finish as high as third in the Indianapolis 500, the first to finish a NASCAR race as high as fourth and a season as high as 10th, Patrick will make history when she undertakes the first full season by a female in Sprint Cup.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, she will eclipse Janet Guthrie's 1977 record of 19 starts at NASCAR's highest level.

2. Ricky of the Year: Patrick and Stenhouse acknowledged in January that they had become romantically involved, momentarily quelling the public fervor for the topic. Competing against each other full time for the Sprint Cup rookie of the year award, it does not figure to go away.

Every action and reaction when Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet and Stenhouse's No. 17 Ford come within proximity of each other is likely to be divined for deeper meaning. And all eyes will be watching to see how Stenhouse reacts when Patrick has the inevitable confrontation with another driver.

3. Let the griping begin: Just 70 races into her stock car career, Patrick has one top 5 [fourth at Las Vegas in 2011] and seven top 10s. She is incredibly raw for an ascent to the sport's big leagues.

The question of whether she belongs will be renewed by critics with each mundane performance, and there should be many. Sprint Cup has been notoriously tough on rookie drivers.

But the bottom line is this: If a sponsor wishes to apply millions of dollars to fund her program, and if a team -- one that won the 2011 Cup title with owner/driver Tony Stewart -- wants her on its roster, that's all the belonging needed.

4. New chief in town: Tony Gibson combines the plain-spoken Southern sensibility Patrick so seems to enjoy and the zeal for technical concept in one effusively positive package. Their chemistry and results felt immediate late last season when Ryan Pemberton ceded his spot atop Patrick's pit box to afford the pair a head start into 2013.

In her last Cup race of the season -- her second with Gibson -- Patrick finished 17th at Phoenix, her best result of the year. Gibson, who brought his "pack of wolves" pit crew, the core of which has been together 11 years, said, "for us, the sky's the limit."

5. Off the Daytona Beach springboard: In 2011, Patrick burst from a 14th-place Nationwide finish at Daytona to a fourth place at Las Vegas two races later in what proved to be a gilded start to her NASCAR career.

Last season, she was involved in wrecks in both pre-race sessions and the Cup and Nationwide races. A humbling start to the season had her and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. reassessing goals.

What will it be this time?

6. New car smell: The Gen-6 race car debuting this season should level the field as there remain unknowns about how it will handle in unbridled race situations.

Much of the information accumulated by teams the last five years, particularly regarding set-ups, will not apply. Whether that will help negate the paucity of test time Patrick had this offseason will be a key early question.

7. Can she win? Restrictor plate tracks such as Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway often have been the scene of upset victories. Patrick has an affinity for the draft-dependent style of pack racing endemic to these hulking tracks and has her best chance to shine there.

Patrick was highly competitive on road courses in the Nationwide Series and made great improvement by the end of 2012, not only in terms of on-track performance but in her ability to diagnose the mechanical needs of a car. She put herself in position for strong finishes for longer stretches of time.

In racing a shorter Nationwide season this year, though, it is unlikely she will reach Victory Lane. A top 5 finish would not surprise.

8. Popular signs: Patrick was voted most popular driver in six of her seven IndyCar series and also last year in her first full-time NASCAR season in the Nationwide Series.

Now she finds herself in the toughest popularity contest of her career, pitted against former employer and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. The son and namesake of one of the most celebrated drivers in the sport's history has been dubbed Sprint Cup's most popular for 10 consecutive seasons.

Patrick joked that she doesn't "want to make any [peers] mad," but she is savvy enough to realize her reach.

"Dale obviously has a huge following, and he does a great job, and he deserves it. We'll just play it by day."

9. No. 10 it is: There will be a No. 7 Chevrolet in NASCAR's top series this season, owned and operated by Tommy Baldwin Racing, which partnered with Stewart-Haas to administer Patrick's Cup program in 2012. It will not be driven by Patrick.

There likely will be some confusion among casual fans as Patrick drove a "7'' last season, albeit in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports. All of her Cup races have been, and will continue to be, campaigned in a "10."

There was speculation in the offseason she might be interested in the No. 7 for her full-time Cup launch, but it is of family significance to Baldwin.

10. Shiny, happy Patrick: If Patrick is emotionally roiling about the conclusion of her seven-year marriage to Paul Hospenthal, she is masterful in concealing it. She seems completely at ease with her new normal personally, and comfortable and content with her place at Stewart-Haas racing.

"She is more happy than she has been in a long time," said her father, T.J. Patrick. "She's back to herself."

11. Nationwide on her side: Patrick's full-time job in Sprint Cup portends to be difficult, unforgiving and, at times, frustrating.

Eury, her former Nationwide crew chief, advocated for another full season in the series. He said it would be a "blessing" if Patrick could produce a top-10 Cup finish.

Her abbreviated Nationwide schedule this year should be as much a respite as a proving ground. Patrick hopes to gain confidence she can apply to Sprint Cup. Supporting her theory, her double-duty weekends at difficult venues such as Darlington and Bristol proved to be some of the most productive of her 2012 season.

12. The grind: Patrick competed in 33 Nationwide and 10 Sprint Cup events last season in what was the busiest schedule of her career. She seemed refreshed and fit through the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is partly attributable to her well-regulated personal-fitness regimen.

This season she is scheduled to contest even more, with a 36-race Cup slate and an anticipated 10 in Nationwide.

13. Dream scenario: Picture Patrick and teammate/team owner Stewart drafting with each other all afternoon in the Daytona 500, running out front on the final lap.

Stewart has never won NASCAR's greatest race in 14 tries. A win for Patrick would be landmark both for her, Stewart-Haas and NASCAR. Would he push her to victory or make a move for himself on the final turn?

Answer: Sorry, rookie.
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by sangria on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Since we're gonna toss e some bones, I'll have to go find the article I posted in chat, yesterday......
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by sangria on Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:04 pm

http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/02/06/brad-keselowski-danica-patrick-ricky-stenhouse-jr-pti-espn/1897187/


Keselowski: Danica-Ricky breakup would be bigger story
GAME ON!
Jeff Gluck, USA TODAY Sports11:48p.m. EST February 6, 2013


If you're a regular viewer of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, you know Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon don't talk a whole lot of NASCAR.

NASCAR has tried to woo the PTI co-hosts over the years in hopes of more coverage, but hasn't had much luck. Though Wilbon was given the star treatment at a Phoenix race several years ago and Kornheiser was seated with the VIPs at a Richmond drivers meeting in 2011 (after he accused NASCAR of being fixed), PTI mostly debates the stick-and-ball sports.

So when a NASCAR driver gets the show's "Five Good Minutes" segment, it's kind of a big deal.

Brad Keselowski was PTI's featured guest Wednesday as part of NASCAR's Gen 6 car publicity tour, and he didn't disappoint. Keselowski fielded questions about the declining attendance ("I think we can be better all across the board," he said) and whether he's been able to fulfill his celebrity dating wish since winning the championship ("I'm still young; I've got no news to break.").

But his best response was when Wilbon asked his opinion of the Danica Patrick/Ricky Stenhouse Jr. romance.

"In my opinion, I don't think the news story is them lasting together; I think the news story is: What happens if they fall apart?" he said. "Because that's going to be way better of a story."

Keselowski didn't stop there. He wondered aloud what would happen when they raced around each other after a breakup. Would they wreck each other?

"Like, 'Last time I was around, you didn't take the laundry out and that's why we broke up and I'm going to wreck you,'" he said. "Or 'You stuck me with the bill.' I mean, that kind of stuff, to me, is going to be way more exciting than them actually dating."

PHOTOS: Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came onto the Nationwide Series circuit together, in 2010."We got along from the very beginning,"Patrick says of Stenhouse. Rainier Ehrhardt, Getty Images Fullscreen

Next Slide
The Penske Racing driver explained NASCAR's human interest element to Kornheiser and Wilbon, telling them the personality aspect was "always going to be a part of racing."

"So any relationship between drivers, whether it's good or bad -- or dating -- is something that's going to be of interest," he said. "It's a huge story, without a doubt, but I think the real story will be if it goes wrong and what happens."

Lastly, Kornheiser asked Keselowski about his much-publicized wish to buy a tank with some of his championship winnings.

A tank? Why?

Keselowski said he'd driven a tank with the National Guard one time and liked the power and the feel, but added this:

"I had somebody break into my house, and I want to park the tank at the end of my driveway with the barrel pointed right down the driveway, so any one of those sons of (expletive) that try to break into my house again think twice."

Kornheiser was thrilled with the driver's answer.

"How great is that?" he said, laughing. "What a great end line!"

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:41 pm

LMAO I saw that this morning. Great article.
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:39 am



You guys are the best!!
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:59 am

Fans vote for 30-25-20 lap Sprint Unlimited format. Or, to put it in terms you can understand: Benson-Schrader-Tony
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:48 am

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:04 pm

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Danica Patrick, and everyone else in NASCAR, is answering questions about her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nascar-from-the-marbles/danica-patrick-everyone-else-nascar-answering-questions-her-162808406--nascar.html
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:29 pm




Nice looking car. Way to Go Mikey!!

Brian France and his wife donated $50,000 and NASCAR immediately matched it.

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:59 pm

Daytona 500 2013: Entry list features 45 cars for 55th annual race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There are 45 cars entered in the 55th annual Daytona 500 scheduled for Feb. 25 at Daytona International Speedway.

The 43-car field will be determined through qualifying Feb. 17 and through the two qualifying races on Feb. 21.

The front row will be set during qualifying on Sunday. The next 30 cars will make the field through the Budweiser Duel qualifying races, with six more cars then added based on qualifying speed.

The rest of the field will be filled out with provisional starting spots based on 2012 owner points.

Here’s a look at the 45 drivers and cars entered:

Jamie McMurray No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski No. 2 Penske Racing Ford

Kasey Kahne No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Dave Blaney No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet

Marcos Ambrose No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Danica Patrick No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Denny Hamlin No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Casey Mears No. 13 Germain Racing Ford

Tony Stewart No. 14 Stewart-Hass Racing Chevrolet

Clint Bowyer No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Greg Biffle No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Kyle Busch No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Mike Bliss No. 19 Humphrey-Smith Racing Chevrolet

Matt Kenseth No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet

Trevor Bayne No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Joey Logano No. 22 Penske Racing Ford

Jeff Gordon No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Michael Waltrip No. 26 Swan Racing Toyota

Paul Menard No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Kevin Harvick No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Jeff Burton No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Terry Labonte No. 32 FASLane Racing Ford

Austin Dillon No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

David Ragan No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford

Josh Wise No. 35 Front Row Motorsports Ford

J.J. Yeley No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet

David Gilliland No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford

Ryan Newman No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Juan Pablo Montoya No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Aric Almirola No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Bobby Labonte No. 47 JTG Daugherty Motorsports Toyota

Jimmie Johnson No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Regan Smith No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet

Brian Keselowski No. 52 Brian Keselowski Racing Toyota

Mark Martin No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Martin Truex Jr. No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Kurt Busch No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet

David Reutimann No. 83 BK Racing Toyota

Joe Nemechek No. 87 Nemco Motorsports Toyota

Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Travis Kvapil No. 93 BK Racing Toyota

Scott Speed No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford

Michael McDowell No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford

Carl Edwards No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by emcf30 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:01 am

Swiss Miss wrote:Here ya go E, just for you buddy...

For Danica, 2013 could be over the top
Feb 13, 2013 1:29 PM ET | By Brant James




Why thank you. You are so kind thinking of me.
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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

Post by Swiss Miss on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:53 am

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Re: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES

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