Someone told me it’s been a long time since we’ve heard from that irascible “raving reporter”, the Lady in Black. Well, I hear from her quite often; on a daily basis, as a matter of fact, but most times I just try to ignore her and forget all the trouble and rude comments she brought me years back. However, there were those, several of which have now departed these Earthly climes, who just loved her wit and sass. I do hope that’s not what took them.
Anyway, this race comes from 10 years ago at where else but Texas Motor Speedway? It originally appeared on the pages of Insider Racing News circa April 11, 2006. For those of you not familiar with the names generally assigned by the Lady, or those with short or failing memories, the complete race results, compliments of Racing-Reference.info can be found by clicking right about HERE. So, without further ado, here she is, The Lady in Black. Jerry and Phil, this one’s for you!
day race fans. This is your raving reporter, the Lady in Black, coming to you
today from Texas Motor Speedway where the gang from Nextbest
Cup gathered on Sunday to wage battle number 7 in the War of 2006, the Chase
for no Sponsorship. Yes, I know I told you the same thing at
Enjoying a weather pattern almost unheard of in this war, the troops were greeted by the second weekend in a row of sunshine, though they were blown about a bit on Friday when a gentle little 40 mph breeze wafted across the track as they were earning their assignments for Sunday’s battle. Later on Friday, we watched the IROC (Intentional Racing of Clones) cars engage in a skirmish that saw our favorite fence climber, Stewpot, come out the winner. On Saturday, it was the Busch League Kid conquering the Busch league, which only seems fitting.
The festivities on Sunday got under way with the singing of our National Anthem by a group called “Little Big Town.” These young men and women, two of each, intoned the Star Spangled Banner in a breathtakingly beautiful four-part harmony that was at once reverent, respectful and downright awesome. Now…that’s what I’m talking about! Thank you, Little Big Town, from the bottom of an old lady’s heart.
keeping with the slogan that “Everything’s bigger in
When the Boogity flag waved, it was Hurrikahne at the point, with Yay-Yay Jelly on his right flank, but that didn’t last long as Hurrikahne faded back into the following troops while Mark the Munchkin made a Triple- A move on the bottom to claim the first lap and five free pretzels. They mixed up the marching order at the front for a few laps, but by lap 12, it was Greg Blissful that assumed the point and marched right off into his own area code.
At lap 26, we said “adios” to Carrot Top Vickers as he left the battle in a plume of smoke to spend the rest of the afternoon in the lounge. The leaders soon began lapping the troops at the rear of the field, but continued the battle without incident and began making scheduled stops at the bar around lap 56. One soldier, the Busch League Kid, had some difficulty staying on his barstool when the jack collapsed a piece of his skirt. (Hey, I didn’t make that up…evidently the lad was wearing a skirt) When everyone had been served beer and Goodyears, the marching order at the front showed Blissful leading Hurrikahne, Munchkin, Yay-Yay Jelly and Not Easy Being Green.
Soon after, the first unscheduled beer break of the day came when that pesky Frenchman, Monsieur Debris was spotted in turn two, bringing out the yellow rag. (It was only a spring rubber… or half a spring rubber to be more exact) Most of the troops deserted the front and headed back to the bar for Miller Time, but Hurrikahne, Jelly and Denny Ramblin’ stayed out to guard the battlefront. The One LAP UP (One Lucky Arsed PUP) was awarded to Shrub and when they marched back into the battle on lap 69, it was Hurrikahne leading Jelly, Ramblin’ and Stewpot. Jelly took the point on the next lap but ceded it back to Hurrikahne two laps later.
At lap 83, Blissful was wounded by “friendly fire” when he took his mount high to pass a slower soldier and was booted into the wall by Busch League. Blissful would spend the rest of the day in the lounge (Undoubtedly plotting revenge) while all the rest gratefully marched to the bar for a Bud break. The One LAP UP went to the Car with the Flames. Once they’d all grabbed a cold one, the entire fighting force was parked at the bar under the red flag of truce for about ten minutes while the janitors made repairs to the SAFER barrier, which sustained minor damage when Blissful smacked it.
During that supposedly peaceful interlude, Blissful’s girlfriend Nicole made a little trip to the war wagon of the Busch League Kid and engaged in a heated discussion with Eva, that soldier’s fiancée. (To Whom It May Concern, the girl’s name is Eva Bryan…not Eva Braun. She had a boyfriend named Adolf.) Luckily, that encounter did not end in a cat fight, and Nicole, having said her piece, retreated back from whence she came. It became quite evident to all 200,000 spectators that Busch League had gone from snow angel to track devil in a short 24 hours.
When they finally resumed the charge on lap 90, it was still Hurrikahne on the point, leading Ramblin’ and Stewpot, though Ken Shredder was ahead of them, looking to get back in step with the troops. The lead quickly changed on the next lap when Ramblin’ took over, but just as quickly, Stewpot asserted his claim to the point. They were content to march in circles for a bit, but on lap 119, the doomsday flag waved over the Blue Deuce and Busch League was invited into the bar to fix what was thought to be a fender rub. Soon after, the lad logged some time in the lounge while his pit bulls repaired a damaged radiator. One wonders if Blissful bought him a drink.
Beer breaks under the green flag commenced at about lap 144 and brought about immediate problems. The pit bulls for Can’t Cope let a Goodyear roll away from the bar and when it nestled in the infield grass, the yellow rag waved, giving the rest of the troops an opportunity for a leisurely Coors Light. That left early drinkers like Jeffy’s Mini-me and Rubby Gordon out of step with the rest. The One LAP UP award went to Not Easy Being Green and they restarted on lap 151 with Ramblin’ leading Prince Edwards of Roush, Kevin Havoc, Mutt Kenseth and Stewpot.
That skirmish didn’t last very long, as on lap 160, that old Frenchman was spotted lurking on the track again, this time in turn four, and the yellow waved for the fourth time. Someone really should alert the Generals in the tower that spring rubbers are just that…rubber! They don’t do any more damage than gloves, roll-bar padding, drink bottles or some of the other creative things we’ve seen decorating the battlefield recently.
Despite having just left the bar, the troops at the front of the battle marched back in for a quick beer, but some only stayed long enough for two Goodyears. The One LAP UP went to Rapid Robby and when they went back into battle at lap 165, it was Prince Edwards leading Shrub, Mutt, Munchkin, Ramblin’ and Havoc. There were only 22 on the lead lap.
The troops marched along peacefully until lap 190, when Yay-Yay Jelly spun unassisted into the SAFER barrier and took his dead battery to the lounge for repairs. Of course, that meant it was Miller Time again and everyone marched through the swinging doors for beer and tires. Shrub was called back to the bar a second time when the General said his skirt was dragging on his right rear. Dang…I hate when that happens! (Just how many of these guys where skirts, anyway?) The One LAP UP was awarded to Dale Swear-it and when the battle resumed at lap 196, it was Ramblin’ leading Mutt, Prince Edwards, Havoc and Stewpot.
only lasted for a few laps, when on lap 202 Flyin’
Ryan made an Alltel call to the wall with perhaps a tad of assistance from
Right at the restart on lap 206 there were positions changing up front. Mutt took it from Ramblin’, who promptly bumped Matt to say “thank you” and Prince Edwards passed them both and took it for himself. While the leaders continued in lockstep, thing were getting worse for the Car with the Flames. On lap 224, he had to visit the bar with a flat left rear Goodyear, putting him two laps out of step with the soldiers at the battlefront.
Lap 251 would give everyone another chance for a beer break when Cow Patty’s Schwan flew off in a huge plume of smoke. He retired to the lounge for the duration and the One LAP UP winner was Mini-me. They returned to the fray on lap 255 with Hurrikahne ahead of Ramblin’, Prince Edwards, Stewpot, Mutt and OJ. (The Other Junior) As usual, the battle on the restart was a heated one and within a couple of laps, Prince Edwards lost when his Office spun into the Car with the Flames and then went hard into the inside wall. He too would spend the rest of the day in the comfort of the lounge and Stewpot, who narrowly missed the other Depot car, would need a change of shorts directly after the battle. The One LAP UP went to Ken Shredder and they were back at it by lap 263.
Stewpot went around Hurrikahne and Ramblin’ to take the lead at the restart and they held that formation for quite a while. With only 47 laps remaining in the battle, Candy Man took his chocolate factory to the lounge without an engine. At the front of the battle, the point was swapped between Hurrikahne and Stewpot several times, with Hurrikahne coming out ahead in the end. Then, just when you’d think it was safe to go back into the water, Monsieur Debris was spotted once again lurking in turn two. (No idea…it was one of those unexplained mysteries) That was a real break…Bud break that is…for everyone but Rapid Robby, who had just left the bar.
Dale Swear-it once again claimed the One LAP UP, Ready Sorenson was demoted to the rear of the marching order for leaving his barstool too quickly and they restarted on lap 318 with Hurrikahne leading Stewpot, Mutt, Clint Bow-Wow and Ramblin’, all of whom were behind Rapid Robby.
All day long, it had seemed that Hurrikahne had to play catch-up after every restart, but this time, when it really counted, no one came close to passing him. They mixed it up among themselves behind him, but that big red Dodge quickly opened up a three-second lead. When the checkers waved, signifying the end of the battle for the week, it was Hurrikahne claiming the checkered flag, followed by Mutt, Stewpot, Ramblin’, Havoc, Sir Jeffery of Childress, Scoot Riggs, OJ, Munchkin and Bounty Hunter. Somewhere behind those soldiers, Shrub made contact with Clint Bow-Wow, leaving the inside wall awash in Jack Daniels. (Janitors had to love that)
Hurrikahne spun some doughnuts in Bruton’s
landscaping and then did a long, straight, smoky burnout on the front stretch,
to the delight of the fans in the stands. Upon arriving in
That’s exactly the way it was at Texas on Sunday folks. Would I lie to you?
Gentle readers, we have something just a bit different with which to close out today’s article. At the end of last week, Country Music lost one of its greatest stars and a veritable ocean of tears have been shed at the news that Merle Haggard has passed from this Earth. I hastily added my favorite “Hag” song to last Friday’s piece, the lovely “Silver Wings”, but today, with a bit more time and thought, I’d like to share some of Merle’s songs that weren’t the most popular, but to my mind were the most “Merle.”
This one is the introductory song on Merle’s album, “For the Mama that Tried.” I think everyone is familiar with the hit song to which that refers, “Mama Tried.” Merle had a special place in his mind, thoughts and heart for his Mama, and that point is made very clear in the recital part of his rendition of “The Old Rugged Cross.”
You’ll note that he made that dedication to his Mama on her 79th birthday. Merle died on his 79th birthday.
This next offering is an old Hank Williams Senior song, but giving credit where due, Merle’s version is beautiful, sincere and heart-rending. Please enjoy next, “When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels”
The next song isn’t truly of a religious vein, and this one isn’t about Mama. It’s just one of the loveliest songs he ever recorded, and I think everyone will enjoy it. The name of the song is simply “Colorado.” Over the years, he sang several songs about Colorado, but none better than this one, to this Mama’s mind.
Going back again to the “Mama” theme that permeated Merle’s life, this one decidedly brings to the fore the thoughts of a child as he grows and matures. Yes, there comes a day for anyone that’s been there, when one realizes his family is poor and doesn’t meet the societal requirement to be counted among the “beautiful people.” May all of those beautiful people rot in Hell! This is, “My Mama’s Hungry Eyes.”
Finally, the thing that Merle always said kept him going throughout his life and kept him from losing that life many times over was his Mama’s penchant for prayer, and she prayed all her life for her youngest son, Merle. This song, another written by Merle, is simply entitled “Mama’s Prayer”
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!