FROM WHAT I'M HEARING
Hey Betty Jack.......
I was so happy to find a gay nascar site. :) It made my day! Gurrrrrl, you look "DeVine" too!!!
Don't know if you heard about or saw this or not. Someone told me about it at lunch today and so I went and picked up a copy of ESPN's magazine, because lo and behold, my (I wish) future husband Carl Edwards is on the cover with his driving suit pulled down to his waist, exposing is ever so hot, bare, ripped chest (with another picture of him running with just a pair of shorts on in the article) Hubba Hubba!! Now that Rusty has retired, Carl is my new favorite. If only I could convince him to do a back flip of the car and onto me.
Here's the link to ESPN (it opened really slow for me, be patient good things come to those who wait) http://static.flickr.com/38/100960397_ae15180b35_o.jpg Maybe you've seen it already, but it's worth a second stare.
I must get to Daytona one of these days. I'm always at Talladega in the fall and Indy in August (it's close to home for us Chicagoans). Only once have I seen a group of gay men at a race and that was in Indy, the gay men in Alabama must hide it somehow.
PS - I changed the ESPN link to our racepal Susan's ASCAR blog where she's got that hot pic. And check our her weekly commentary for the point of view of those girls gone wild
Come by and check out the view from high-rise trailer in Turn 2 should you be enjoying the action at the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend
That's AJ and Amy who share their luxurious Fifth Wheel with the Gaytona crowd
Both of these fascinating productions offer remarkable relevations about NASCAR's first African-American racing champion - Wendell Scott.
I'd like to thank my Daytona Beach neighbor Mildred Porter for loaning these to Dixie and me to watch.
Betty Jack's Track Yack
Las Vegas 400
Welcome, gay NASCAR fans! And a special welcome to all the gay NASCAR fans heading to Hampton this weekend and the Atlanta Motor Speedway! Even though our first Daytona International Speedway experience last month was terrific, I'm excited about the show coming back to my super-fast home track. Woo-hoo, y'all!
Out in Las Vegas, the weather looked mighty cold. Watching qualifying, we caught sight of what is obviously a new hair color for Kasey Kahne. He's more of a brunette now, it looks to me like, and the process might have changed his hair to be less soft-n-curly. It's not bad looking, but I don't see the need in a cute boy like that dyeing his hair. (Note to young people: After 40 or so, you're going to want to keep your hair dyed all the time for the rest of your life and/or hair. Don't start any sooner than you have to!)
Again this Vegas race, MC Robin Leach's golden tones spun for us marvelous champagne clutchboxes and tangerine dreams. The innovation was brought by Las Vegas Speedway Chaplain Kenny Farmer who prayed, as we all ought to, for the people off in these terrible wars. Trick Pony sang the National Anthem. (Note to Trick Pony: If a song is notoriously hard for one person to sing, it's even harder to harmonize on. But thanks for trying!) The Air Force whipped out six Thunderbirds for the flyover that sho looked crowd pleasing!
Greg Biffle sat on the Bud Pole and led the first lap. Tony Stewart took the lead pretty quick. The cautions Sunday were generally about right front tires and/or debris. Reed Sorenson crashed one time, and Ryan Newman crashed another time. Mark Martin led a good bit. Matt Kenseth did, too. Jimmie Johnson won in a green-white-checkers finish. The finish was a close one, but since it was Cheatie vs. Sleepy, I felt like I just didn't have a dog in that hunt.
THE SCHOOL FOR MIKEYS
Seems like it's taking Mikey a while to get cranked up this year -- glad he's got some good commercials to keep people talking about him! In a commercial this week, a reflective Mikey acknowledged that one day he might have to retire as NAPA's spokesmodel, and therefore has founded the Michael Waltrip School for NAPA Spokesmen. Inside its very respectable building, we see Mikey himself teaching a classroom full of -- get this: fluffy-haired brunette boys in NAPA firesuits! I mean, it's not so much a school as it is a clone factory! Hilarious!
A press release from Atlanta Motor Speedway is informing me that Bill Lester will hope to qualify for his Cup debut Sunday at his home track in the #23 Waste Management Dodge for Bill Davis Racing! Good luck, Bill! Jayski.com tells me that if Bill makes the show, he will be the first African-American in a Cup race since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986. A black driver in Cup contention could be a terrific force for bringing people together. (Just the other week, I was surprised to learn from my office manager, who is African-American, that her son is a major NASCAR fan and goes to the speedway here with his uncle.) Anything that's this fun, all the cool people need to be there for it, I'm saying.
THE BRAWL FOR THE HALL
First of all, congratulations to Charlotte for winning the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In the race for the hall, there's no doubt that Charlotte started from the pole and led the whole way. As regular visitors to this site know, I repeatedly said the hall belonged either in Daytona Beach or Charlotte, but Absolutly Not in Atlanta. In the end it boiled down to who would throw the most taxpayer money at the fabulously wealthy France family. I divide my time between my homes in Atlanta and Daytona Beach, and so I feel like a dodged a bullet in that neither of my little cottages will have to pay extra tax to support the building of the hall.
By the time the race was over, Charlotte had put a full lap on Atlanta. Then there was the storm of outrage after Felix Sabates said, "Think about this. Would you want to go to Atlanta at 8 o'clock at night and walk around by yourself? I told [NASCAR president] Mike Helton one day, 'Do you want to take your wife and kids and walk the streets a few blocks away from the Hall of Fame in Atlanta?' He said, 'Why?' I said, 'Just try it and you'll see.'"
In the finest tradition of denialist, "shoot the messenger" hissy fit-having, Atlanta's royalty became incensed, stopping just short of accusing Sabates of racism for his comment. After the announcement, there were more sour grapes here than at the Gallo winery. In the always-disappointing Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jeff Schultz carped, "Felix, enjoy walking around downtown Charlotte. You should feel safe. You'll be the only one there. The NASCAR Hall of Fame instantly becomes Charlotte's top tourist attraction. The elevator in the Wachovia building drops into second." Note to AJC: snarky + bad loser = NO CLASS.
One more time -- from an Atlantan of 25 years -- here's why the Hall never belonged here: First and foremost, Atlanta is NOT a racing town. Some sports bars are OK with switching a TV or two to the race, but otherwise it's all ball, all the time.
During Speedweek, the Daytona Beach News-Journal runs a special racing section every day. Honey, it's Race Week Monday in Atlanta as I write, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has less than a page of NASCAR news. The TV stations here are interested in the race only as a big traffic problem. In addition, the issues that Sabates raised are Absolutly Valid. When I moved here in 1981, downtown had two large department stores and numerous places to lunch. Those stores are long gone, as are the old restaurants. While the city's leaders love to point to the growth of residential lofts and condos downtown, even the people who live in them will tell you there is nothing to do down there, and you can definitely run into some shady types, day or night.
The new Georgia Aquarium is indeed getting sensational reviews, and I look forward to visiting it. But while it's easy to imagine most of the Hall of Fame visitors bopping over to The Aquarium, I don't for a minute believe that most of the Aquarium visitors would walk across the park and plunk down another $20+ apiece to see a bunch of cars and old race movies.
The best local writing on the topic I've read was by John Sugg in Creative Loafing. He calculated the amount of money each state promised, on a per-person basis, to NASCAR: Georgia $2.83, North Carolina $14.24. Then, he dryly concluded: "Thus, Karl Marx's dictum of 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need' takes on an innovative interpretation. All of us clearly have the 'ability' to chip in a few dollars for the France kinfolk, although the Frances seemed to want the money more than they 'needed' it."
Nuff said. Congratulations to Charlotte, and best wishes for building a Hall of Fame that NASCAR fans from around the nation and the world will enjoy for many years to come.
ONE MORE THANG...
CMT is running "Smoky & the Bandit" I & II in heavy rotation. If you catch the beginning of "II" you'll see some incredible old racing footage from the pre-renovation Atlanta Motor Speedway. Check it out!
That's all for now, ladies. Again, welcome to Atlanta! Let's all meet up down at the Track Bar!
Betty Jack DeVine