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Children By The Millions

Alex Chilton

Motorsports are different in Europe.

Motorsports are different in Europe. AS are many things sporting, or sportif. Formula 1 vs. NASCAR. It sort of makes me wonder what it would be like if NASCAR actually staged a race in Europe. Hah! I could see it all now….instead of a race at Watkins Glen or Sears Point ((I refuse to call it Infineon)), they could have a race at Hockenheim or better yet, Spa-Francorchamps. Junior Nation and its legion of lugs with the number 3 shaved into their hairy backs could descend upon Belgium and they could still drink actual Budweiser, and the younger one’s with the number 8 tattooed on the left shoulder or right ass cheek could quaf ((that’s the Euro-word for beer pong, I think)) it’s EuroWife-Beater counterpart Stella Artois. Picture this…Montoya and Speed return to the scenes of their triumphs and crimes and they could dust it up with Robbie Gordon, Marcus Ambrose, Smoke and that homo Jeff Gordon in Curve Paul Frere. Montoya had a third place podium finish at Spa in 2002 ((although I imagine he’d much rather race at Hockenheim where he topped the podium with a win at the 2003 German Gran Prix)). Yes I’d be all for a move of this sort to internationalize NASCAR. It would be a far better use of what talents, such as they are, that Brian France and Mike Helton have at their disposal, than playing spider/ant games with The Carl and Brad Kesolowski.

Which brings me to Sebastian Vettel, and the secret life thereof. Vettel as I mentioned last week, teed off from the pole in the opening Bahrain Gran Prix last Sunday. (( What I didn’t mention last week is his new hair style. He’s grown it out and he now looks like a high school kid from Chilton Wisconsin waiting to pick up his prom date. And I will not mention that this week, either)). He’s the lead driver on the Red Bull team this season and the Red Bull Renaults are incredibly fast….they are also incredible unreliable from a durability standpoint. By lap 34 , Vettel’s Renault was losing power, and Felipe Massa and his teammate Fernando Alonso made the pass. And Vettel’s chances at a podium were dashed when Lewis Hamilton zipped past himlater for a third place podium finish. Anyway, it’s the secret life of Sebastian Vettel that got me thinking about NASCAR racing in Europe. For example, the favourite sports and pastimes of European drivers are vastly different from their NASCAR counterparts. Not many hunters and fishermen is what I’m trying to say. Sebastian Vettel’s ideal non-race Sunday morning is a big breakfast followed by a spirited game of badminton. Yes, you read that right.

Now I don’t think even Jeff Gordon is homo enough to include badminton his routine. Though the big breakfast part I’m sure we’d all agree with. But….badminton? Well…as I think about it…maybe badminton would not be such a bad idea after all. It might serve to ease the tensions between Brad and The Carl….let them smack the bird around a bit. Ditto The Carl and That Lout Kevin Harvick. Let’s put all this manly and quasi-manly posturing aside for bit, yes? I think racing in Europe would do wonders for NASCAR. Children by the millions all over Europe would flock to the loud, stinky louts from America, and the wonder and the horror of it all. The money wasted by transporting the Roushketeers and The Busch Brothers and all the rest over to Spa ((or Hockenheim)) would be made back many times over…it could be the second biggest NASCAR cash grab since The Coming Of Danica Patrick.

That. And the badminton!! The next time The Carl or Brad or That Lout Kevin Harvick or Hamlin, or god forbid, David Gillillilland, decide for spurious and notional reasons to extract some petty revenge, they might just think twice about doing that if they knew they’d be forced to play badminton.

Then again, losing at badminton might rankle The Carl even further. God forbid that, yes?


Ladies and Gentlemen, START YOUR…..oh shit!!!

The ladies and gentlemen of the IRL got off to a smashing start last Sunday in Sao Paolo. Quite literally. They didn’t even make it past turn 1 without what amounted to an IRL equivalent of a Talladega Trainwreck with Helio Castroneves and host of other mushing together in turn 1. It would have spectacularly amusing if not for Mario Moraes running over Marco Andretti and pinning him in his car. That turned out to look scarier than it actually was. When radio contact was finally made with Marco to find out if if he was okay and alive, Mario said, “Tell Mario his car looks pretty fucked up from where I’m sitting.” It took 5 minutes to remove Mario’s car so they could get the fortunately un-injured Marco out and to the care center.

Then the rains came and the hail and wind. And some teams didn’t get their rain tires on in time ((I’m looking at you, Danica Patrick’s crew chief)) and cars were spinning everywhere even with the rain tires. So they red-flagged the race for awhile, and then a legion of folks with brooms came out and swept the track dry…swept the standing water away. And the race was on again…but set to a timer. And when time ran out, Danica was a lap down, and Will Power took the checkers by a country mile.

Yes, I said brooms. You read that right. Brooms! Not jet-dryers. Brooms. The kind you used to sweep out your garage.

Anyway, Danica was not the highest finishing woman in the race. That honour goes to Brazilian driver Ana Beatriz, or for those among who which to craft a formal proposal of marriage, Ana Beatriz Caselato Gomes de Figueiredo. But the driver to watch this season, who could very well be the IRL Rookie of the year when all is said and done, is Simona de Silvestro. She led 4 laps and had a heated battle with Ryan Briscoe and Dario Fanchitti before the rains came and was doing a very impressive job.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of her this season ((and no, I will NOT call her the Swiss Miss)).


Have AT It, Boys!!

And now, after an extra week for NASCAR and The Carl to stew in juices of their own making, we have the first weekend at Bristol where 43 rabid chihuahuas race around in a teacup. And a few tweaks, and more than a few wrecks are inevitable. The Nationwide race tees off in a little while as I type this, and guess who’s teeing it off first. Yep. Brad Kesolowski has the pole for the Scotts Turf Builder 300. And speaking of Scotts Turf Builder  (( and yes, I know that’s his sponsor in Cup, not Nationwide)),  The Carl tees it up 4th. Scoreboard baby, scoreboard!  The Carl has best just use a pitching wedge on this one, and I’m hoping it’s Kyle Busch who pokes his eyes out enroute to a 2nd place finish today. I’m thinking Brad could go wire to wire in this one, although I’d prefer to see Kelly Bires, who tees it up 3rd  in the #88 Hellman’s Chevrolet for JR Motorsports win this.  Should be a fun race today. And there’s more good news for Wisconsin boys.. Scott Wimmer now has a ride with JR Motorsports. He’s going to pilot the #7 sled when Danica is not behind the wheel. Would love to see him get a top finish out of this one.

AS for the Food City 500, Joey Logano has the poll and as likable as he is, we all know that won’t last long. By lap 2 he’ll be boosted aside by Mr. Bristol himself, Kurt Busch and that will be the end of his moment in the sun. And today’s NASCAR chat with The Carl and Brad ahead of tomorrow’s race should be a revelation of various concepts of zero,  I would imagine, given Bristol long-standing reputation for snarling mayhem. The Carl is on probation of course and needs to mindful of his behavior…and as tempting at might be to rattle Brad’s cage some more, or give 89 mile per hour bitch slap to Kevin Harvick for calling The Carl (and rightly so) a fake…he’s best advised to scramble only his own eggs and not cook omelets for the rest of the field. Kesolowski qualified 36th, too deep in the field at Bristol to cause much of a stir. But don’t count him out for a top 20 finish.

“Have at it boys!

I’m thinking that right about now, Brian France and Mike Helton are regretting ever uttering those words without the word don’t in front of them. It appears that Helton has saved the “Come to Jesus” talk for today. I doubt very highly that,  after this meeting,  things will be more clear ((other than the fact that both The Carl and Brad will have to behave themselves)). It will depend upon what NASCAR’s definition of “at” and “it” is I suppose. And we don’t need to be too clairvoyant or mystical to be surprised by any revelation or, as if more likely, the lack thereof, to emerge from today’s meeting. Your guess is as good as mine, or David Freaking Blaney’s, who somehow qualified 3rd for no apparently good or discernible reason.

As for my guess at tomorrow’s winner. Kenseth has a great shot at it. He qualified well and is good at Bristol. Jeff Gordon is in the mix and generally runs well there. But if I were to put my €5 on this one, I’d have to go with Kurt Busch to win. I hope The Firehouse in Mt. Horeb has one bottle of Miller LITE in stock tomorrow for celebration purposes…the inevitable Polish Victory Lap.


“I love Wisconsin! They named a city after me!”

A vital branch, a vital trunk of the family tree of American Music passed this week, when Alex Chilton died of a heart attack in New Orleans this past Wednesday at the age of 59. Chilton and his music enthralled and influenced several generations of American music, from his teen years in The Box Tops during the 60’s to his seminal early 70’s power pop band Big Star in the 70’s and beyond. The Box Tops were one of my favourite bands when I was in high school. And Big Star influenced what I consider to be the most influential American band since Big Star, and my all-time favourite band, The Replacements.

So rest in Peace, Alex. Children by the millions, myself included, will miss you.


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