Don’t Despair, Help Is Coming!
We are just about 37 days away from the beginning of the Daytona 500 (as of this writing) and it will be getting very noisy at the Daytona International Speedway very soon. That’s right race fans, it is rapidly approaching the middle of January and the winter offseason is quickly coming to a much-appreciated end! For those of you who may have been employing, as I have, a counselor, a psychologist, a shrink, or your psychic (I like the deceased Miss Cleo, personally) to help you cope with 93 days of “the offseason blues”, rejoice, my friends, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Don’t despair for it is not a high-speed train that will run you over! It is the light of the 2019 NASCAR racing season.
For the dirt racing aficionados among us, the spotlight has begun to shine on an indoor facility specially cultivated in Tulsa, OK, and a trophy named “The Golden Driller”. That’s right, it is Chili Bowl time! For those who are not dirt track racing fans, The Chili Bowl is not edible, rather it is a huge steady diet of midget racing. On the last look, there were 355 midgets on the entry list for this weeklong marathon of racing by the best of the best midget racers in the USA. It is worth noting that our resident mudslinger, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, will not be making the long tow back there this year. This is probably his first absence in a decade! Once again Christopher Bell, sprint car/midget racing extraordinaire and Joe Gibbs Racing phenom, is looking to secure his third Golden Driller in a row! Probably two of the pre-race favorites will be Bell and two-time winner Rico Abreau. I would even add the following caveat, any of the Keith Kunz Racing midgets that have been entered at the Chili Bowl could easily garner the Golden Driller this year.
For those players who follow my NASCAR/IndyCar website, WorkingOnMyRedneck.com, you have noticed that there has been some increased activity in the last few days! Alas, NASCAR has emerged from the Christmas holidays and has begun generating newsworthy stories once again! The breaking news is beginning to dribble in and the press releases are starting to get deposited into my email from many of the NASCAR and IndyCar race teams as they begin tuning up their 2019 operations.
Noteworthy 2019 Changes
There has been some changes made in NASCAR over the 93 day offseason, and I will try to list a few of those changes that may affect how you choose your drivers this season.
If you haven’t been paying close attention Barney Visser has ceased operations of Furniture Row Racing shuttered their Denver, CO shop after Homestead. Martin Truex, Jr. and his crew chief, Cole Pearn, are now employed by Joe Gibbs Racing. This duo, Truex and Pearn, will be running the JGR No.19 Toyota operations this year.
For the Ryan “No Neck” Newman fans, you will find him strapped into the Roush Fenway Racing Oscar Meyer No. 6 Ford each Sunday.
For the senior “Buschwacker” brother fans, Kurt Busch will be behind the wheel of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevy Camaro this year.
For our Spanish speaking players, Daniel Suarez has taken over the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford.
Both Trevor Bayne and A.J. Allmendinger do not have a NASCAR ride, as of this writing, for 2019. Additionally, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, and Jamie McMurray have hung up their “NASCAR skid-lid” this year. However, Kahne will be racing his sprint car with the World of Outlaws and several other sprint car races in 2019.
So beleaguered and down-trodden race fans, dust off your Ouija boards, begin reading your tea leaves, make the 1-800 call to Miss Cleo, and get your brain re-engaged………….race day is not too far away!
Quoting the great philosopher Bob Seger:
Stood alone on a mountain top
Starin’ out at the Great Divide
I could go east, I could go west
It was all up to me to decide
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR GLOVES UP, FLIP YOUR VISOR DOWN, AND LET’S GO RACIN’!