Tag Archives: Kurt Busch

Top 10 Moments of 2012

25 Nov

It’s been a long, crazy season (my first following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), capped off with a Brad Keselowski championship last weekend.

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Most-Memorable Moments of the 2012 season…

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10.

Stephen Leicht (who??) sends a groundhog airborne during practice

June 8, 2012 at Pocono

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9.

Jimmie Johnson rocks colored afro in victory lane

June 3, 2012 at Dover

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8.

Kevin Harvick’s car dented by parachute jumper during pre-race festivities

November 4, 2012 at Texas

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7.

Dale Jr. ends 4-year, 143-race winless streak in the “Batmobile”

June 17, 2012 at Michigan

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6.

Jeff Gordon makes Clint Bowyer angry, prompting priceless YouTube spoofs such as this one:

November 11, 2012 at Phoenix

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5.

Denny Hamlin calls his victory, then delivers

September 23, 2012 at New Hampshire

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4.

After leaving race, (lunatic) Tony Stewart launches his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car

August 25, 2012 at Bristol

 

[Afterwards, Stewart said: “I learned my lesson there—I’m going to run over him every him every chance I’ve got from now until the end of the year, every chance I’ve got.”]

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3.

Brad Keselowski tweets from inside his car during the Daytona 500 jet dryer incident

February 27, 2012 at Daytona

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2.

Kurt Busch rocks the Ricky Bobby paint job

May 6, 2012 at Talladega

(Here is an article on how he got permission to use it).

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1.

Bad Brad wins championship; gives (awesome) sponsor-fueled interview afterwards

November 18, 2012 at Homestead

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When you think back on the 2012 season, are these the moments that stand out for you, as well?

[Here is a 2012 recap that the folks at the Yahoo! Sports blog “From the Marbles” came up with.]

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Announcing My Favorite NASCAR Driver

17 Nov

So, I’m curious: how do most NASCAR fans pick their favorite driver?

I did some brainstorming and came up with the following list of reasons people support certain athletes or teams (and – let’s be honest – political candidates as well).

(How many of these factors did you you take into consideration when you picked your favorite driver?)

2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers

Do you support someone…

  • from the same state or town as you?
  • who wins a lot? (Jimmie Johnson)
  • who has won a lot? (Jeff Gordon)
  • with family history? (Dale “Earnhardt,” Jr.)
  • who breaks the mold? (“Danica“)
  • with a cool paint scheme?
  • who is “good-looking”? (“Danica“)
  • who shares your beliefs/views/opinions?
  • whose car number is your favorite number?
  • who is similar to you in age?
  • whose car sponsor you support?
  • who is outspoken/unapologetic/rude?
  • who is honest/reflective/intelligent?

More than one of the above?  Or something else entirely?

Below, I’ll tell you how I picked my favorite NASCAR driver, and it involves several of the above.

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I’ve been following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since the season started back in February.  I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere over the summer (mid-season), I settled on my favorite driver.

(If you’ve been following my Twitter feed – @NASCARneophyte – over the last few months, you may have guessed my favorite driver based on a lot of my tweets and re-tweets).

So that I’m not accused of picking the guy that may win the Sprint Cup Series Championship this season, I wanted to get this in writing before he wins his first Cup Series title, whether that’s tomorrow or years down the road.

That’s right, you guessed it: Brad Keselowski has become my favorite driver.

Bad Brad, driver of the Blue Deuce: the #2 Miller Lite Dodge.

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If I had to summarize my reason for that in one word, it would be: Twitter.

As a young adult myself who is always “plugged in,” Twitter is a pretty big part of my day, and Brad makes Twitter fun and informative.

It started at the Daytona 500 with “the tweet:”

(Here’s that picture):

Keselowski’s tweet from inside his car while stopped on the track at the Daytona 500.

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That night, I became one of the thousands of people who followed Bad Brad on Twitter for the first time, and I’ve been following him ever since.

Number of Twitter followers gained by Keselowski over a two-hour span during the Daytona 500.

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Over the last ~10 months, I’ve enjoyed Brad’s insight into what it’s like to be a NASCAR driver (celebrity, even?).  From the victory lane photos, to the room full of items waiting to be autographed, Brad’s Twitter feed is a great behind-the-scenes look at the NASCAR world:

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I like Brad because he answers more fan questions than any other driver I follow, and he tends to avoid sarcasm, which several other drivers seem to use a lot (*cough,* *cough,* Kevin Harvick!).

Brad is definitely opinionated and sticks up for his beliefs (both on Twitter and in his media interviews), but he doesn’t come across as an ***hole (*cough,* *cough,* Kyle/Kurt Busch!).

I’ve learned a lot during my first year watching NASCAR, and much of that has come from Brad.  His tweets range from:

  • the funny:
  • to the informative:
  • to the opinionated:
  • to the behind-the-scenes variety:

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Looking at some of the other reasons I listed above for why fans support certain drivers, I’ll comment on a few other things…

  • Brad’s main sponsor is Miller Lite, which I drink (mainly because Eat This Not That lists Miller Lite as one of their best beers in America), but not very often, because it tastes like water (let’s be honest)…
  • One of Brad’s sponsors is Adidas, which happens to be my favorite athletic wear company…
  • Brad won consistently this year, winning 5 races (so far)…
  • Brad’s car is blue, which is my favorite color…
  • Brad is 28.  I’m several years behind him, but same generation…

So did any of these factors influence my decision to support BK?  I don’t think they did, consciously, but perhaps subconsciously they did influence my decision…

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No matter how this season ends for Brad, and whether I continue to follow NASCAR after this season or not, I will definitely continue to follow Brad on Twitter and cheer for him as my favorite driver going forward.

Brad celebrates a victory with the traditional post-race burnout.

Race Recap: Bojangles’ Southern 500

15 May

On Saturday night in Darlington, Jimmie Johnson won his first NASCAR race of the season (and the first for Team Hendrick this year).

The win also happened to be Rick Hendrick‘s 200th career victory as an owner in the Sprint Cup Series.

Johnson (right) hoists the trophy with crew chief Chad Knaus in victory lane after the race.

Some other notes from the race in case you missed it:

  • Danica Patrick raced with the big boys again(!) …but she finished 31st. Meh…
  • Jeff Gordon‘s miserable season continued, as he cut a tire on two separate occasions, eventually went to the garage, and then finished 35th. On team radio after his second flat tire, he didn’t even sound upset. At this point, it seems like he’s used to the bad luck…
  • Apparently there was some post-race drama on pit road involving Kurt Busch which earned him a pretty hefty fine. (I’m sure he’ll appeal the decision and, knowing NASCAR, they’ll probably reverse it. Or maybe not, since his name isn’t Jimmie Johnson… zing!).

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As always, I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge last week thanks to Twitter. Here’s a summary:

  • Darlington is a difficult track to race on because it’s fast and narrow:
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series cars are pretty different from Sprint Cup Series cars, so Cup drivers can’t learn much from watching the Nationwide races held at the same track:

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Here’s a question that came up last week. If you can answer it, help me out in the comments section below or tweet @NASCARneophyte.

1. Why is Darlington called “The Lady In Black” and “Too Tough To Tame“?

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Race Recap: Aaron’s 499

6 May

Talladega Superspeedway promises high speeds and therefore the possibility of huge wrecks. It’s a must-watch race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.

In Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, there were plenty of lead changes, as drivers repeatedly went from 1st place to the back of the pack (slowing down and avoiding traffic when their engines ran too hot), and then right back to the front soon after.

After wrecks knocked several big names out of the race, social media wizard Brad Keselowski outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed the rest of the field to take the checkered flag at Talladega. Here is the strange trophy he won:

“Hey Mom, check out this cool trophy of a guy holding a trophy that I won!”

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In case you (somehow) missed it ahead of the race, Kurt Busch didn’t have a sponsor this week, so he had his car painted like Ricky Bobby‘s car in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Here’s a picture of his #51 car:

Kurt Busch: “I Wanna Go Fast!”

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Here’s a bit of new NASCAR knowledge I picked up during the race, thanks to the announcers on FOX and some folks on Twitter:

  • The part of Matt Kenseth‘s car that holds the window net in place broke and almost came off during the race. According to the announcers, if the window net comes off, the driver is required to pit immediately.

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Some questions also came up as I was watched today’s race. If you can answer them, help me out in the comments section below or tweet @NASCARneophyte.

1. Are there more lead changes during races at the larger tracks? (Today it seemed like there were more than there were at Richmond, for example, and Richmond has a lot more laps).

2. Are there stoplights at every NASCAR track? (If so, I’m surprised I just noticed them today).

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If you’re already looking ahead, the Sprint Cup Series will move to Darlington, South Carolina next weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Race Preview: Aaron’s 499

5 May

There were two hot topics on Twitter ahead of this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega: (1) Kurt Busch’s paint job, and (2) jorts:

It took some effort, but Kurt Busch was finally given permission to use Ricky Bobby’s paint scheme.

Jimmie Johnson says NO to jorts. (You should too).

The Aaron’s 499 is race #10 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup circuit. The race will take place at Talladega Superspeedway, which is the largest track on the NASCAR schedule, at 2.66 miles around.

Race coverage tomorrow starts at 12:00 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 1:19 PM EDT).

Below the logo, find everything you need to prepare for tomorrow’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Aaron’s 499

  • Location: Talladega, Alabama
  • Track name: Talladega Superspeedway
  • Track shape: Tri-oval
  • Banking: 33 degrees
  • Lap length: 2.66 miles
  • Race distance: 188 laps / 500 miles

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I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone. (I’ll be cheering for Ricky Bobby).