Where Winter Racing Can Be Found
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and a most cordial “Hey y’all” to our assigned reader of all things NASCAR related on this sunny but cold January day in the North Georgia hills. There’s really not much going on in the world of NASCAR right now, though there really should be. In years past, this would have been the week of the Media Tour, which failed to even take place this year.
Over the past weekend, the Sports Cars were “roaring” around Daytona as a prelude to the Rolex-24 later this month. (We call it qualifying) Cars were racing at little Dillon Motor Speedway in South Carolina over the past weekend, as were those attending the “Ice Bowl” run on the Talladega Short Track. It was beautiful weather for racing and for January here in the Southeast, with temps in the 70s and bright sunshine… a real Chamber of Commerce weekend… but no Media Tour in Charlotte, North Carolina.
If like me, you’re into watching all those beautiful old cars roll across an auction block in search of a new home, Mecum Auctions are live this week from Kissimmee, Florida. Check local listings for broadcast times. Hereabouts it’s showing live from Noon to 6:00 on NBCSN and is also available on the NBC Sports App.
The week of January 14-19 brings the Chili Bowl from Tulsa Oklahoma, though no TV for the poor folks. Pay only, and that hasn’t come down in price to where old ladies on a fixed income can afford it. (Available from RacinBoys.com and LucasOilTV.com… possibly more) Running concurrently with that, the Barrett-Jackson Auction from Scottsdale AZ commences and we can get that one for free. I don’t get the channels it’s carried on (Velocity/MotorTrend and Discovery) since it left FOX, but it can be seen streaming online directly from the auction, with options for a stage presentation with talking hosts or a direct feed from the auction block itself. I always opt for that, as one never misses a car unless you need to make a pit-stop or refresh the things that come from the kitchen.
Caution: All times listed on site are Mountain Time. Add one hour for Central and two for Eastern Zones. Deduct one hour for Pacific.
Following the end of the Auction and Chili Bowl, the next weekend the tracks fall silent as the nation watches some little football game being played in that big city to my south. Once we get that out of the way, the next weekend brings Daytona Qualifying for the 500 and the Advance Auto Parts Clash, the race for 2018 pole winners and anyone else they can conceivable stick in there. Those both happen on Sunday afternoon now. Cars will be on track for practice sessions on Saturday and probably Friday as well. No schedule out on that at this time. Watch Race Fans Forever for times when available.
Practice sessions will resume on Wednesday for all series and the Dual Duels, or “Duel at Daytona” as they appear to have been renamed yet again… sans sponsor. Back in the Stone Age… in my day, we called them the “Twin 125s”, which was later changed to the Twin 150s after NASCAR figured out the newer cars could run 125-miles without a pit stop. The latter will run on Thursday evening, with Gander Outdoors Truck Series (GOTS) on Friday evening and Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon. The Daytona 500 will run on Sunday afternoon, as always.
See? There really are things going on. Most of them have little to do with NASCAR, but that seems to be the new business model. “Keep ‘em guessing!” I’ve heard no rumor of a “State of the Sport” address, so perhaps that one from Steve Phelps last year is supposed to suffice. Personally, I’m feeling a bit like an orphan child at Christmas. Let’s go racing!
As far as “News” goes, I don’t think you need me to tell you that Daniel Suarez has now signed with Stewart-Haas racing. Surprise, surprise! I called that in early fall of last year, then someone rescinded their statement and just like that, it all disappeared. I’d already written about it, so I stuck in a disclaimer that I’d stick with it until proven wrong. I love it when someone proves me right! I guess I could tell you that two major Cup teams, Roush-Fenway and Chip Ganassi Racing have shut down their Xfinity teams for 2019, but I’m pretty sure you might have read that elsewhere.
For now, I’ll settle for being honest and saying I really have nothing more to write about that I feel would be of any interest to you, my gentle readers, so let’s close this one out with a great Classic Country Closeout. This week it comes in two parts; first up is one many will have heard in this space before, but it remains one of my favorite bits of entertainment, so let’s hear it again today. This is Merle Haggard and Marty Robbins, on stage together as Merle does his imitation of… Marty Robbins.
The second part is a bit more serious as we take a look back over 2018, the year just ended, and pay tribute to the Country greats that departed this earthly clime throughout that year. Happy New Year!
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!