She's a Real Wild One.....
But now it is time for Talladega. ( I have a lot of friends camping out there, by the way. Sme have been there for days already, and I'm sure their livers are suffering.) Because of the speeds, the restrictor plates and the close racing and drafting, anything can happen here, and usually does. All too often we see things at 'Dega we never thought we'd see. Unfortunately, like Daytona, the accidents have sometimes involved the fans in the stands,and my sincere hope is that we have a safe race, with no serious injuries.
The news out of the NASCAR garage has been somewhat surprising. Todd Parrett, long time crew chief, currently working in Aric Almirola's pit for Richard Petty Motorsports, has been suspended indefinitely for substance abuse. What the substance is has not been released, Todd is the highest ranking member of any team, other than AJ Allmendinger, to fail the parameters set by NASCAR. Todd is third among active crew chiefs for wins, having crewed for the likes of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, and Bobby Labonte. He will be required to complete NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program before returning to the NASCAR garage. RPM has not issued a statement regarding Parrott's continued employment with their team.
Yesterday word leaked out that Martin Truex Jr. was moving the Furniture Row Racing. Apparently, not every detail has been ironed out, but the deal is all but signed. I have no doubt that the success Kurt Busch brought to the team in 2013 will continue into 2014. Martin has proven himself to be an excellent driver, and only the actions of his team, Michael Waltrip Racing, eliminated him from the 2013 Chase. NAPA announced they would not stay with MWR going forward, but what hasn't been said is whether they may continue sponsorship of Martin, at least for a partial program in 2014.
Now that Kevin Harvick is leaving Richard Childress Racing, and moving to Stewart Haas Racing for 2014, a partnership that started back when Dale Earnhardt Jr and his sister Kelley were still involved in the family racing team will be renewed. Dale Jr and Kelley started JR Motorsports and have had success in the Nationwide Series. Kevin drove in that series for them, in seasons when he was not running for the Nationwide Championship. He will re-unite with JR Motorsports, and run 12 races in the number 5 car, rumored to be sponsored by Hunt Brothers Pizza. The exact schedule is yet to be ironed out. Given the association between SHR, JRM and Hendrick Motor Sports, it seems old friends are getting together once again.
And finally, this week brought the sad news that Brian Vickers has once again been diagnosed with a blood clot and will be out of the MWR car for the rest of the season. This is the second time Vickers has been sidelined by the same condition. Elliott Sadler has been tapped to fill the seat for the last four races of the season. Although I am not a huge Vickers' fan, I wish him well as he recovers.
So. Talladega SUPERspeedway. The name fits. Bill Elliott set the non-restrictor place speed record at 212.809 MPH. Speeds have definitely approached that record, even with the restrictor plates, but the record stands from 1986. It is likely that record will stand 50 years from now.
Do you have a prediction for the race? If so, join in here. Any comments on the news of the week? Let's hear them. In the meantime, we'll get ready for some fast action.