Kansas: Danica Violently Wrecked; Aric Almirola Hospitalized

Does NASCAR want this?

Absolutely! Otherwise it’s a boring race and the sponsors get itchy.

Just read the tags on the address links:

http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/danica-patrick-joey-logano-aric-almirola-violent-fiery-crash-kansas-speedway-nascar-051317

http://www.espn.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/19377982/danica-patrick-aric-almirola-joey-logano-fiery-crash-kansas-speedway

Makes you want to view it, huh?!

EVERYONE sent well wishes & concerns to Aric Almirola, who plowed into Joey Logano after his front-right ‘mechanical’ failure. Logano should have turned himself into the SAFER barrier, instead of right-rearing Danica Patrick into the wall at nearly full speed–  the most dangerous type of oval crash. It is a driver’s first responsibility when feeling the blowout, to not wreck (endanger) others; you deal with this wreck on your own as much as possible.

It is also up to other drivers to slow down when there is a fireball ahead. Almirola was going WAY too fast (completely out of control); he had time to veer from the wreck, but instead slammed into the pile. Since he’s so badly hurt (fractured T-5), no one mentions that.

The only driver who mentioned Danica Patrick in their ‘tweets of concern’ was 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson (above).

So the driver who made no mistake here (and was nearly killed) is ignored, and shouted down as “selfish” by the haters. My advice to Danica: skip the All-Star race (for which you have to run qualifiers!), and save yourself the headaches.

What Drivers Said after Kansas Cup race

Danica Patrick — Finished 36th: “We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed. I kinda felt like Wonder Woman for a little while. All I know is that I all of a sudden crashed. I definitely had a feeling it was the 22 and I am sure that the doctors in the medical center checking my neurological abilities are glad to know I was right that it was Joey. When he said he had a failure I can’t say it made me feel that much better in the moment. I am just frustrated for the lack of breaks I get. It seems like every time things are going better and something happens I get crashed or am in a crash. Especially a place like this, a brake rotor, when we are using 200-300 pounds of pressure seems odd. Unfortunately there were two of us that got collected and while I am okay, one of these times one of these really big accidents someone is not going to be okay. Aric (Almirola) is not okay and his car looked the best of everybody. You never know when it is going to be the wrong hit. I have a team that works hard and put another car on the track and I hope we are saving up for a really good run of good luck.”

This was Danica Patrick post-race last week, after getting caught up in the ‘Big One’ at Talladega (again):

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr (above) looks pretty happy with his girlfriend standing beside him– like she should.  That begs the question: what does Ricky have to say about his girlfriend getting violently wrecked more than any other driver in NASCAR?

      1. Haters, Step Aside - Ric Size

 

Last notes to NASCAR faithful: since Kansas is a boring oval, make it a road-coarse race.

Why do so many NASCAR die-hards hate Danica? The reason the haters go off (as best I can tell) is because they are ugly, and she would never look at them in real life. It’s a vitriolic cry for attention, which they rationalize with selective nonsense. Shout them down!

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Cheating in Sports

      1. Old Friends - Ric Size

 

ESPN/NASCAR 5-1-17: Joey Logano starts from the back and ends up front [1]

My posted comment: “I like Joey Logano, but I do have a question. What was the ‘unauthorized transmission adjustment’ that sent him to the back of the field to start? He went from last to race winner, so it definitely worked. Just seems unfair, at least until the fans know more.”
Like · Reply · May 1, 2017 11:21am

ESPN/NASCAR 5-4-17: Joey Logano’s win at Richmond won’t count toward playoffs [2]

NASCAR announces Logano’s car was ‘illegally modified’ and that his Richmond win is “encumbered,” meaning he doesn’t get the points or free pass in the Chase. Amazing that no one else in the media initially asked the question, huh?

Cheating is endemic and part of the fabric of NASCAR. Certain teams are allowed to cheat more, depending on their favor with Brian France. For the serious Chase competitors it’s about pushing this envelope, and keeping good political relations with Steve O’Donnell & France. Power owners like Roger Penske, Joe Gibbs & Rick Hendricks get decisive edges for their teams.

Some drivers are more strictly censured than others. There are some whose best interest is NOT to cheat. For instance, Danica Patrick never gets busted for illegal modifications, failing laser inspections, loose lug nuts, etc. It’s not in her interest to cheat, because of how she markets herself to her fanbase of women & kids– as beautiful & fair-minded. That’s how she attracts major sponsorship, and notice that Aspen Dental is now the “official dentist of NASCAR.”  [3]

She consistently runs ~25th, and can never win a race because she isn’t trying (cheating), but with Dale Jr. retiring, Danica will easily become their most valuable commodity. That is the paradox of NASCAR, and it’s the reason she’s so loved & hated [4].

The landscape of women’s tennis has undergone a seismic shift recently. Serena Williams announced her pregnancy (congratulations!), and very likely is leaving professional tennis as quietly as possible. I don’t see a comeback at her age, with all she’s already accomplished. Motherhood will likely motivate her more.

The other bombshell is Maria Sharapova returning, in top form it appears. She’s definitely among the early favorites at Roland Garros, with plenty of motivation & support. Her May 16th official announcement for the French Open is being promoted, so what does that tell you the decision to let her play will be?

Any Sharapova vs. the WTA scandal-mongering in the media is flak designed to distract people from the political & controversial nature of her suspension from the start. Player gossip covers these hidden interests. Maria Sharapova is double-edged, as the tour needs her star power, but she is personally disliked by most players. Rafa Nadal (below) welcomed Marin Cilic back by saying, “Only thing that I can say is I am happy to see Marin back on tour. He’s a good guy and a great player.”

But Nadal didn’t advocate for Sharapova’s return as a wild card under similar circumstances. Sober tennis fans see what’s important here. Cilic is accepted by the players, while Sharapova (an even greater player in the women’s game) is not, due to her unpopular status in the locker room.

Maria Sharapova has won the career grand slam and the French open– twice. Of course she deserves a wild card, and her current situation is why they have such a thing. This entire affair has been a political vendetta, with Sharapova’s Russian nationality being at the heart of it [5].

Serena & Venus Williams were/are allowed to compete with therapeutic-use exemptions (Serena TUE below) for schedule II narcotics & banned steroids, without even a hint of media scrutiny or sanction from the US-backed ITF or WADA. This hypocrisy is staggering, and the response from most of the players is disappointing in it’s selfishness.

Racialist (definition): 1) One who insists that all differences in society are based on race, instead of class. 2) A form a racism.

Genie Bouchard (above) also spoke against Sharapova even being allowed to return [6]. Bouchard’s current situation is beyond bizarre & messed-up, as she is suing the USTA, while her game has fallen apart [7].  Background: in October 2015, Genie Bouchard slipped in the locker room at he US Open In NY, when she couldn’t find a light switch after a late-evening match.  She claims a “serious head injury” with lingering concussion issues [8].

The USTA has destroyed evidence (locker room video) and is at least partially at fault; but this ultimately falls on Bouchard herself.  She would win more support from everyone by becoming an advocate for better locker room conditions for all the athletes.  When you speak selfishly about others, they won’t stand with you when you need them.

As we can see, there is much cheating going on everywhere in sports; men & women, white, black, and any other skin pigment.  It’s inherent ugliness is why it’s hidden, until someone eventually reveals it to the rest of us. It’s motive is to selfishly put oneself ahead of others. Cheating diminishes our souls because it values trophies over character, and that understanding is its best deterrent.

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Spirit of the Road

      1. Spirit of the Road - Ric Size

Spirit of the Road

RS: guitar, bass, and vocal; TomP: percussion & production

Daytona 500 2016

Floridians are crazy about football (HS & NCAA), NASCAR, and golf. The Daytona 500 is the Great American Race; the annual Super Bowl of racing held every February– officially opening racing season. NASCAR is second, only to the NFL, among professional sports franchises in US television ratings.

People native to central Florida, know & love NASCAR.

I am nowhere near being the greatest driver ever; but I can handle a stick. Many of my former patients were/are huge racing fans, and knowing their sport helped me get them to relax. It often started a discussion, which allowed them to build a relationship of trust with a Yankee doctor.

As a general rule, southerners take racing & driving much more seriously than northerners. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is head-quartered in Daytona, FL; which dominates North American racing; asphalt & off-road. Founded in 1947/48 by Bill France, Sr. (and still majority owned & controlled by the France family), NASCAR controls the lion’s share of the $3.1 billion annual revenue the sport generates.

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame is in Talladega, Alabama. This institution, built by Big Bill France in 1982, claims to be “dedicated to enshrining those who have contributed the most to the sport of auto racing either as a driver, owner, developer or engineer.”

International_Motorsports_Hall_of_Fame,_Talladega_AL

The vast majority (around 90%) of inductees are white American, predominantly NASCAR drivers; which mars this institution’s validity. Indy Car & Formula One racing have always been dominated by European & South American drivers, yet just two non-Americans have been enshrined into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame since 2003.

NASCAR’s modern era began in 1972, when it secured its first title sponsor, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. When big tobacco & distilleries were banned from television advertising; they quickly turned to NASCAR as a new promotional outlet for their target demographic.

NASCAR_Winston Cup

–Yellow Flag! CAUTION!

In the midwest, there is low visibility with snow & sleet; along with icy roads in the winter.
Drivers learn to be cautious, because you can’t drive fast on ice; if you try, you end up in a snow-filled ditch. The good news: it’s a soft landing. The bad news: it’s an expensive tow bill, plus it sucks being the idiot everyone remembers as they slowly glide past you. When the trucks are all out, it can be quite a wait, so always have a warm blanket in the trunk.

snow-ditch-car-GregGjerdingen

–Green Flag! GO!

Different climates mean different rules. Down here it [usually] rains a lot in the summer; but that’s it, so people drive fast because they can. In Florida the unwritten driving rules were laid down by Dale Earnhardt #3– the “Intimidator.” His style was aggressive, as he would wreck other drivers just to win a race, then bullshit his way through the post-race interview; victimized drivers never bought it. Racing fans either loved him or hated him, as he was the Ty Cobb of racing.

dale-earnhardt

The end came quickly & tragically for #3 at Daytona, on February 18, 2001; when he crashed into a wall and was killed instantly on impact, on the final lap of the Daytona 500. He had been continuously blocking faster cars during the final laps, in order to ensure a 1-2 finish for team members Michael Waltrip & Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Here’s the video with over 2 million views: pay attention to the replay at around 3:30, and decide for yourself.

–Black Flag! DISQUALIFICATION!

NASCAR is a serious sport, with a thin margin for error. For decades, NASCAR ignored & dismissed improvements in safety, citing them as “unnecessarily expensive.” The list of NASCAR drivers killed on the track includes: Earnhardt, Adam Petty, and Kenny Irwin– the latter both died just two months apart during practice, when their throttles stuck wide open, causing them to crash full speed into the wall of a turn. Driving 180-200 MPH can be a terrifying (and deadly) experience, unless the driver is in complete control of the vehicle.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series– October 13, 2000: Tony Roper’s Ford pick-up is pushed into a sudden hard-right turn, causing his truck to impact into a concrete wall at full speed. Tony Roper died the next day from his sustained injuries. Very few have the nerve, reflexes, and driving skill to safely compete at this level.

Tony Roper

In the mid-2000s, NASCAR redesigned the racing vehicle with safety improvements; a higher roof, wider cockpit, and the driver seat located more towards the center of the vehicle. Earnhardt’s death in 2001 prompted NASCAR to require all drivers to use the “HANS” (Head And Neck Support) Device. This device keeps a driver’s head & neck from whip-lashing forward, in a wreck. Basilar skull fracture is the common cause of death in head-on car crashes.

–Pit Stop! REFUEL & CHECK CAR!

At race speeds, Sprint Cup cars average 5 MPG.  NASCAR vehicles are unregulated by the EPA, and have no mufflers, catalytic converters, or other emission-control devices. Leaded fuel was banned in the US in the 1970’s, but not completely discontinued from the Sprint Cup series until 2008.

Many Florida drivers try to emulate their NASCAR heroes, on public streets & highways, everyday. Florida has the highest pedestrian casualty rate in the US. A popular local bumper-sticker reads “Watch for Motorcycles”, often found on 2-ton trucks that roar through neighborhoods creating pollution & roadkill. Check their fenders.

Muscle Trucks

The predominant attitude on-the-road in Florida is: Me first!  Tailgating, cutting-off other drivers, and angry driving are the leading causes of pedestrian deaths; along with texting and cell phone use while driving.  It’s the distraction of attention that counts, so get your head out of your apps!

texting-while-driving

–Red Flag! STOP!

Streets, roads & highways only work right, if everyone cooperates and follows the rules– which we were all taught in Driver’s Ed:

1. Signals– every time; other drivers aren’t mind readers.
2. Lights– when raining, snowing, and at dusk until daybreak.
3. Seatbelts & helmets for motorcyclists.
4. Obey the speed limit, especially in city & residential areas; conversely, if you are holding up traffic– pull over and be considerate to let others through, while you take a minute to figure it out.
5. Don’t tailgate– it just makes slow drivers slower, and creates dangerous situations.

There are far too many drivers on the road, who have no idea where they are going or why? This confusion creates congestion & frustration for everyone. Figure out problems, before going into the real world. In the meantime, consider & use mass-transit or alternative options; as indecision is hazardous on the road– to the driver & others.

bad_driving

What is a car?  Answers are in order of importance:

A car is a tool (as well as a symbol) for freedom of movement.
A car is the primary cause of global warming.
If money is owed on it, or insurance & maintenance need to be paid, etc.; a car is a liability.
A car is a status symbol; in what you drive, as well as HOW you drive.

–Pink Flag! GO DADDY GIRL!

Easy Choice

I’m 10-10 on the side

Danica Patrick is the best thing that ever happened to NASCAR popularity, assuring her a spot in the field for as long as she feels competitive, to the derision of ‘purists.’ No other driver has autograph sessions that look like this:

Danica Patrick autograph session

Hardcore racing fans have been slow to come around to her, but she is a respectable driver. [1]

In NASCAR she’s a lower-tier driver with an A-team and fast car, who gets middling results, due to her age & lack of experience in this racing style. Any other NASCAR driver got a video this good?

Danica Patrick comes from Indy & Formula One open-wheel racing, where banging other cars isn’t allowed because of the narrow cockpit inside the wheels. The rule in open-wheel racing is to avoid contact as much as possible, because as soon as wheels touch at 220 MPH, there’s high risk of an accident.  The number of drivers in an Indy car field is half of NASCAR’s, meaning more room for drivers. Open-wheel has more road race courses, which emphasize manoeuvrability, as compared to the all-out speed of the left-turn oval super speedways of NASCAR.

Patrick competed for years on the open-wheel circuit, and increased it’s popularity while changing its demographics. She is now past her athletic prime, learning a new, more reckless style of competitive racing– where cars have protective armor, and some ‘swapping paint’ is allowed at 200 MPH. Keeping the greasy side down & not wrecking others is enough for her fans, at this point.

Danica Patrick proves herself racing smart, by teaming up with Tony Stewart. “Smoke” is one of the best drivers ever, winning the Indy Series (1997), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (2002, 05, & 11), and USAC National Midget Series championships. Stewart is one of two drivers (also J.J. Yeley in 2003) to ever win NASCAR’s “triple crown” [Silver Crown, Sprint Car, and Midget Car], which he did in the 1995 season. He has never won the Daytona 500, which is the only blemish on his ‘all-time greatest driver’ resume.

Dale Earnhardt Sr & Tony Stewart

Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won 7 NASCAR series championships– most all-time [tied with Richard Petty]; and one Daytona 500 [to Petty’s seven]; with 76 career wins. Both hail from North Carolina. Petty’s 200 career wins is an unbreakable record, earning him the title– the “King.”

king-richard-petty

He & David Pearson dominated stock car racing in its early era.

David Pearson_the Fox

David Pearson from South Carolina, won 3 stock car series championships (the only 3 years he ran a full schedule in his career), and one Daytona 500. The “Fox” won 105 races, second all-time to Petty’s 200; running in less than half of Petty’s total starts. Old-timers often consider David Pearson the best driver ever, and Richard Petty doesn’t seem to disagree anymore.

a.j.foyt

A. J. Foyt #14, like Stewart, was versatile; the only driver to ever win the Daytona 500 & the Indianapolis 500– which he won 4 times. “Super Tex” also won midget and other NASCAR dirt-track series. He is most fortunate to have survived at least three death-defying crashes.

jimmie-johnson

Jimmie Johnson #48, is a 6-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and 2-time Daytona 500 winner. Johnson is nearing the end of his incredible run, and currently has 69 career wins– the second-best active total, as of this writing.

Jeff_Gordon

Jeff Gordon #24, is a 4-time Sprint Cup champion, winning 3 Daytona 500’s.
He currently has 92 career wins, third all-time; and by far the most in the modern era (1972-present). Gordon is also the active iron-man leader for consecutive races, consecutive seasons winning a pole (22), and is NASCAR’s career-earnings leader.

Johnson & Gordon are from California, which is a problem for some NASCAR ‘purists,’ who prefer good ‘ol boy over pretty boy drivers. The Confederate flag is ubiquitous & synonymous with NASCAR, a symbolic barrier that separates traditional race fans from most newbies.

–White Flag! FINAL LAP!

Tony Stewart is from Indiana, and his total of 48 wins places him 3rd on the active career list. This accident was NOT his fault.

This is what happens when a hotheaded youngster runs into the middle of a live racetrack, instead of waiting until after the race to express his frustrations. Tony Stewart’s view was blocked by the #45 car that whizzes past Kevin Ward, Jr, just before Stewart comes sliding around the corner– with no chance to swerve around him.

Tony Stewart has publicly raised awareness among racing fans, concerning manipulative use by NASCAR officials, of suspiciously-timed caution flags. As Stewart has pointed out repeatedly: a race can be controlled in the tower, by the people who decide when to drop a yellow flag for “debris on the track,” etc…

tony-stewart2

Respect for Tony Stewart among all NASCAR drivers, helps protect teammate Danica Patrick (and ensure her fans), that no one will intentionally wreck her. That definitely wasn’t the case, when Patrick first started on the pole, at her first Daytona 500 in 2012.

This is precisely what NASCAR needed; as declining ticket sales due to the lack of good jobs, has hit their traditional fan-base the hardest. Danica Patrick (Beloit, Wisconsin) moves NASCAR into an entirely new demographic, that will challenge this sport in a way it has never been before. NASCAR needs the dollar$ too much to ignore her popularity. They also won’t be able to ignore the message of her more educated, more northern fan-base: safety first for everybody, fair racing– no wrecking, reducing noise pollution & emissions, eventually solar/renewable, etc…

Danica Patrick

To those who say, “Ban NASCAR and racing,” the answer is: “Get real!”  NASCAR fans say, “Fuck you!”; then run you down on the road. Racing will NEVER be banned, because so many people EVERYWHERE passionately love it.

The strongest brand endorsement comes in NASCAR. These numbers tell you much of what you need to know about this sport; and the stat that jumps out is 66% of NASCAR fans are willing to PAY MORE for the product their favorite driver is sponsoring. This means a typical Jimmie Johnson fan will drive past a more convenient Home Depot, to spend his/her money across town at Lowe’s– even when it costs more to shop there.

–Checkered Flag! RACE OVER!

Chequered Flag

–Victory Lane! FINAL DISCUSSION!

Tim Richmond is the ultimate shooting star in modern NASCAR history, coming onto the scene as the 1980 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. Richmond had only 13 victories during eight NASCAR seasons; but 7 came in 1986– best on the circuit, while finishing 3rd in points. Richmond was from Ohio, but his nickname was “Hollywood,” for his partying lifestyle; which led to him to contract HIV in 1986. He eventually became weakened by AIDS, and missed the Daytona 500 in February 1987. He competed in only eight races in 1987, and (incredibly) won twice before his final race in August.

In 1988, NASCAR banned Richmond’s comeback attempt; allegedly for testing positive for a banned substance. After NASCAR insisted on violating Richmond’s right to medical privacy, he withdrew from racing. Tim Richmond died of complications due to AIDS, in 1989. NASCAR later stated their original test was false.

NASCAR is often compared to the NBA, because the Daytona 500 & NBA All-Star game compete head-to-head for mid-February TV ratings. Every year, twice as many people tune into the Daytona 500, as compared to the NBA All-Star game. Racing & basketball are also contrasted as a ‘white’ sport versus a ‘black’ sport. This leads to parallels drawn between Tim “Hollywood” Richmond & Earvin “Magic” Johnson of the “Showtime” L.A. Lakers. Earvin Johnson acknowledged his problem, educated himself, and took corrective action.

magic-johnson-and-cookie-johnson

NASCAR fans, that is how Magic survived. Let it be a lesson.

Finish Line

Re-edited w/ photo additions on 2-26-16

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