Random thoughts from the off week. Thank God for Opening Day.
Fox released its list of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers this week. The top five were as follows: 5 – Dale Earnhardt Sr., 4 – Jeff Gordon, 3 – David Pearson, 2 – Jimmie Johnson, and 1 – Richard Petty.
I have some objections. My top five looks like this: 5 – Jeff Gordon, 4 – Dale Earnhardt Sr., 3 – Richard Petty, 2 – Jimmie Johnson, and 1 – David Pearson. If you would like to debate, come with it, but I have put a lot of thought into this one.
They ranked Darrell Waltrip higher than Cale Yarborough, which I cannot abide by. And Ricky Rudd (who I have determined is probably my favorite driver ever for no other reasons than he threw a water bottle at Kevin Harvick and is Skeet Ulrich’s uncle) and Mark Martin are too low. Can’t say I’m a fan of this list, overall, but I guess Fox got what they wanted: people are talking about it.
One of the first official acts of the British government after the declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1939 was to requisition all the wine from the German embassy.
I’m a big fan of 80’s and 90’s country music, so naturally I make my kids listen to it. I was at home with all three one a couple weeks ago and Shenandoah comes on and my four-year old asks me, “why does he need two Guns n’ Roses?” The line is “if I had two dozen roses.” Can’t say I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life and I have to call that one a solid parenting win. If you know this song, it is now stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.
Word of the day: BOTHÁNTAÍOCHT (Irish) — visiting your neighbor’s houses to catch up on the gossip.
Until the Final Four, I was not aware of the record run that Villanova had been on over the last four years: more wins over that amount of time than any team in college basketball history then to cap it off with a second national championship in three years. That’s just damn impressive.
Earlier today (I’m writing this on Tuesday), NASCAR released the 2019 Cup schedule. I’ll save you the effort of going to read it. It’s no different from this year except Easter is three weeks later in 2019 and so you have nine races before an off week (this year you had six). Martinsville and Texas need to be switched. Hopefully that will keep me from getting snowed on at the racetrack. There are a lot of things I could say about the schedule, but that’s a whole other column in itself.
In 1948, a single law in Spain banned blasphemy, wood chopping and keeping poultry.
It is hard for me to believe that it has been 25 years since we lost Alan Kulwicki. That 1992 Hooters 500 when he won his championship is one of my most vivid racing memories.
Rowdy Burns, I mean, Michael Rooker is going to drive the pace car at Richmond later this month. I have nothing to add to this. It’s just information you should have.
The Queens of England’s staff get to choose their own Christmas presents, which must be worth between £20 and £25.
I’m a firm believer in the law of unintended consequences and the whole mess with BK Racing’s bankruptcy, their charter and the newly appointed trustee overseeing the team’s operations. It’s a complicated legal and financial situation now, but shows how the charter/franchise thing can be obfuscated and what NASCAR sold owners (which the owners wanted) as a value proposition and a way to recoup some investment is basically garbage now. I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy, but I still don’t know how this racing business model works and looking at BK’s books makes me wonder why anyone would get in the racecar-owning business.
In good NASCAR business news: Busch Beer announced the return of the Busch Pole Award last month. This should mean we get the Busch Clash in January at Daytona and that makes me happy.
French toast is thousands of years older than France.
And if you can’t tell, I need a race because my head is full of nonsense.
Andy Cagle, a former spokesman for Rockingham Speedway and motorsports public relations consultant, writes about NASCAR in a weekly column. Follow him on Twitter @andy_cagle or email him at [email protected]