Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chevy Rock and Roll 400 - Richmond, VA, Sept. 9, 2006

Well, by gum, The Rock n Roll 400 wasn't near the donnybrook I was expecting, but it had it's moments, and enough surprises to satisfy. Including common tater Wally Dallenbach referring to Richmond as Bristol after the race was over, and later one of the other announcers saying they were in New Hampshire. They may have been taking a few beer-stained pages from the late, great Harry Caray's book up there in the broadcasting booth. Too bad nobody said, "Cubssssssssss win!!!!!" after Harvick passed Busch Jr. on the last lap.

I must say the atmosphere was perfect for last night's race. The sound of the cars roaring around the track under green was enough to rattle the rotting floorboards of our living room.
Which came in handy, since TNT cut to commercials about every five minutes (Cecil timed it for a half hour, he said they'd show 3 mintues of racing, then 2 minutes of ads), regardless of green or yellow flag conditions. Fortunately we find about 50% of the ads they run during NASCAR races fairly entertaining. Love that "Whose agitatin' my dots?" guy, and those white collar dorks in the Holiday Inn ads...

For one reason or another, neither Cecil nor I speak to our parents much. We love them dearly, and they're awesome people, but we just don't "hang out". We speak on the phone maybe six or eight times a year, maybe more if there's a birth or a tragedy of some sort. But we can always count on phone calls from my Daddy and Cecil's mumma during Daytona, Indianapolis & Richmond races. And so it was today. They love their racin'. Cecil's mumma is a Jeff Gordon fan, and a recent Kasey Kahne Konvert. (She's kinda boy crazy....) So she should be happy her little honeys both made The Chase. My daddy was an Earnhardt fan. He cried when Earnhardt died. And I love the shit out of him for that. But he was left floundering for a few years, not having a driver to pull for. Some strange confluence of events made my daddy, Cecil & me all start liking Tony Stewart a couple years back. We'd previously hated the little prick, but he won us all over. Daddy loves him partly because his other racing hero, A.J. Foyt loves him. We love him cuz he has a monkey.

Alas, our Champeen Smoke didn't make The Chase, but so it goes. He took it well. We predict he's gonna be a sumbitch to contend with these next ten races. All bets are off, and I'd look for at least two more wins from him this season. Not to mention a lot more Ironhead-style driving.

One other topic, real quick: Schrader and Blaney. Hooooo-fucking rah for the old guys!! Both finished in the top ten - Hell, Pee Paw even led a lap or two, but at the end of the day do they get any respect? Oh hell no. Because TNT & SPEED both want to focus on The Chase. Jimmy "Mr. Excitement" Spencer & Kenny Wallace went off-script for a moment during Victory Lane to give kudos to both guys, but since they weren't "Chase Contenders" the Networks decided they were not comment worthy. Which is retarded and fucked up. Whoever this "Muscle" guy is that seems to be running SPEED TV? He needs to get an earful from Dixie.

And another Schrader/Blaney quickie: For two damn years I've been noticing that regardless of the track, or who they're driving for, Schrader & Blaney have a tendency to run together. Some kind of dirt-track owner, "Hey, Hermano, we're sympatico!" sort of thing, or just a fluke? I'm tellin' y'all - watch 'em - it seems they're always running the same, be it in the front or the back of the pack. And Jr. likes to run with Blaney, too. Isn't he a part owner of a dirt track now?

But enough of my yakkin' - let's get on with the Pre-Raisch Activiteeesh (as our beloved Channel 12 sportscaster, Ben Hamlin, might say....).

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Bonus! I love it when you can hear 107,000 people reciting that, in unison, from your own back yard. Led by Brigadier General Mark A. Bellimi, Commanding General of the Quartermaster Center & School at Fort Lee. Very, very cool.

THE INVOCATION: Reverend C. W. Robb of Hunting Quarter Baptist Church. Rev. Robb was wonderful. Short, sweet, to the point, and he had a really beautiful Southern accent.
Our favorite part was when he said, " .... and we all say it, A- MAN!". Cecil said, "He's no Forrest Gump, but he'll do." We also thought he looked like a black Clint Howard. Very cool, Rev. Robb, very cool.

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM: by Bare Naked Ladies. Cecil ain't sure what to make of it, and truth be told, either am I. We both agreed that it's awfully fun to hear "AND NOW, OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM PERFORMED BY BARE NAKED LADIES!!!" booming over the speakers. Quite a disappointment when the camera pans to five middle-aged Canadian guys. Fortunately they were fully clothed. They're all good singers, but as Cec pointed out, "I was likin' it at first, and then that sweet tenor started sounding cartooney."

It did, too. His mic was the loudest, unfortunately, because the other four guys had nice enough voices, and for the most part, they were all on key in a rather complex arrangement to pull off - for a rock band. For a buncha Canooks, they treated the song a lot more respectfully than many U.S. born performers have in the past. But that falsetto tenor guy - MAY-AN! He sounded for all the world like Frankie Valli doing "Dawn" - which is a BAD, BAD thing during our National Anthem. We did, however, very much love the baritone part. It was just like a tuba part.

Cecil gives them THREE STARS. "Not so much for doing a great job, but they did it with sincerity, and if Canadians can do "The Star Spangled Banner" with sincerity, then that deserves three stars."

I'll give them THREE STARS also. You could tell they spent a lot of time trying to get it right, which is way more than we can say for a lot of performers. And they didn't try to "leave a mark" on it and get all show-offy, they seemed to be using a traditional arrangement, which sadly, only 4/5ths of the band were able to pull off. And also, kudos to them for not being dicks. The entire band seemed very obliging and laid back, and didn't seem to have any attitudes.

THE FLYOVER: F-16 Fighting Falcons led by Bobby Sandford of the Virginia Air National Guard. THIS. WAS. COOL. And finally TNT gave them credit both onscreen and verbally, even mentioning who lead the squadron and that it would be the last flyover by the F-16s, as they're being replaced by F-22s. Cooler yet was that they buzzed our house not once, but twice!!! I love it when military aircraft fly over our house, but it's only twice a year that I know for sure when they're going to do it, so I can go out and watch for them.

THE COMMAND: Given by Keith Crain, Chairman of Crain Communications. Boy. Yet another man lacking enthusiasm. Will it ever end? Mr. Crain will be spared my usual Harpy's Harangue because he did have style. He looked like he should be sitting in a bar saying "Da Bears" over a mug of draft beer instead of "Gentlemen, start your engines!" , but as Cecil pointed out, his delivery of The Command "was more a subdued, Teutonic military command. 'Gentlemen. Start. Your engines.' " And when he paused between words, he'd get a real crazy glint in his eyes, and shift his eyes back and forth. That was kinda neat.

Stay tuned for more nit/butt/booger pickin' regarding The Chase.


Anonymous rankin' rob said...

Pussyfooting first part of the race. People playing it safe, excepting Tony Stewart, who punts Sterling Marlin to get a caution to avoid getting lapped. Poor Sterling, just a pawn in their game, to paraphrase Dylan...

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freaky. Pee Paw leads a lap, is in the top five.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. They switched Dave Blaney's car with Jeff Gordon's and didn't tell Jeff.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous rankin' rob said...

Happy Harvick is in and Smoke is out. A foul night at Willard's, not doubt.

11:00 PM  
Blogger The Dixie Butcher said...

RR#1: To quoth Pee Paw Schrader, "Gotta go." Sterling's raced with Tony long enough to have seen that one coming, given the circumstances.

Speakin' of - Whooohooo Pee Paw! Way to go Fatback!! btw, is it only us that thinks Fatback looks like Uncle Fester? No offense, M. McSwain, to paraphrase a famous Death Piggy song, "WE LOVE YOU, FAT BACK!"

Anon.#2: HAHHAAAhahahaaaa! Now that's funny!
Probably didn't tell Blaney, either. He's drivin' around thinking he's in a Bill Davis piece of crap, going "What the fuck?!"

RIR is Blaney's kind of track - he always does great here, better than he should given his equipment. But having Tommy Baldwin 'overseeing' the Caterpillar Camp again didn't hurt him none. Tommy Baldwin rocks. He, Hamlin and Blaney have been quietly polishing the BDR turd for awhile, too bad nobody notices... wonder what Toyota will bring?

RR#2: You missed a rare moment, my friend. Cheers and whoops for Harvick winning. Yes. It is so. To have had Mini-Mouth Busch win at RIR would have been SO wrong.

Our grieving for Smoke was quiet and brief. We got the Virginia boys in, and congrats to your Wonder Boy for making The Chase. It wouldn't be fun without him.

Smoke or no Smoke, now it really is Monkey Time.

"You're a fool, Otis, this's gonna be fun!" - Gomer Pyle

5:05 AM  
Blogger DH said...

Plenty of little E fans, but I think any true Ironhead fan would have to eventually latch onto Stewart as a favorite. Smoke's gonna be in a foul mood the next few months, too.

Damn straight on the invocation. I like short and to the point.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous rankin' rob said...

I look for Stewart, Busch The Elder, Carl "Eddie Haskell" Edwards and Greg Biffle to make life for the Chasers verrry dicey in the next number of races.

12:36 PM  
Blogger The Dixie Butcher said...

(snort!) "Eddie Haskell". That's perfect.

Right on, dh, and thanks for joining the party!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn by god. when the TV says Bare nekkid ladies are gonna be singing the anthem, I expect to see some boobs and cooters. The hell with them lying nascar bastards. Ugly Canadian men, screw that. By god.

You can expect a big ol' change in the points system next year, as it is clear that the current plan just doesn't work as well as the money boys had hoped. 11 people vying for 10 spots in what should be the second most exciting race of the season - whoopee shit. I coulda' slept through that mess. And I did, sort of.

By god.

Remus Dawson

11:15 PM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

You lost me in the first part. I have no idea who those people are. The second part, as always, hi-larious.


7:41 PM  

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