by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMay 8, 2009 10:01 pm UTC No Comments
I watched qualifying for Saturday’s Southern 500 and most of the Diamond Hill Plywood 300 Nationwide Series race tonight. Maybe Kyle Busch should have won the latter, but he didn’t. Matt Kenseth did. And Matty won the pole for tomorrow’s race too. Watch the Roushies this weekend. And maybe Sam Hornish. Yeah, Sam Hornish Jr.
NASCAR gets the racing out of the way early this weekend so that teams and fans can concentrate on Mothers day. It’s a NASCAR tradition that I appreciate. Quaint, but nice.
Ask.com is Bobby Labonte’s sponsor on the Hall of Fame Racing no. 96. Labonte’s birthday is this weekend and this week, the official search engine of NASCAR ran a promotion to celebrate.
Hundreds of fans submitted their ideas to Ask.com to be considered as the gift the Official Search Engine of NASCAR presented to Labonte on his 45th birthday. The suggestion from Hilary Mathis of Danville, Ill., inspired the gift – a commemorative racing helmet that includes the names of each fan that sent their supportive wishes and gift ideas over the past week.
Mathis has been a Labonte fan since 1997 and lists him and Brian Vickers as her top-two favorite NASCAR drivers. Ask.com has pulled together Mother’s Day content for fans. A special page on Ask.com includes interviews with the mothers of Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Reed Sorenson and Mathis’ fave, Brian Vickers. Here’s the Vickers story – from his mom….
When he was about 10 years old, he and his father were in the basement working on his go-kart getting ready for the next race. He was actually sitting in the go-kart while being weighed and just couldn’t sit still. He started sticking his fingers in the holes on the steering wheel and one of his fingers got stuck. We worked for hours trying to get his finger out, but that only made his finger swell. He wouldn’t let us cut the steering wheel off because it was his favorite one, so we had to take the wheel off the go-kart and he slept with it. He thought his finger would slide out just like it slid in – but that didn’t work. We went to the emergency room the next morning to see if they could get his finger unstuck, but they couldn’t either. And after all that they finally took him down to the maintenance department and had to cut the steering wheel off anyway.
To read more stories straight from the mouth of Brian Vickers’ mom, as well as childhood tales from the moms of NASCAR stars including Jeff Gordon, Reed Sorensen, Ryan Newman and Casey Mears search NASCAR Mother’s Day at Ask.com for some great Mother’s Day material.
Photo credit: Getty Images
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMarch 5, 2009 9:07 am UTC 4 Comments
It’s been awhile for Bobby Labonte. I know, he finished 5th in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday. That was great. But not since, maybe 2003 has the soft spoken ex-champ been dominant anywhere.
That year he led 238 total laps in two Sprint Cup Series races at the track he used to pretty much own. When the Cup Series went to Atlanta Super Speedway, Bobby was an almost automatic pick.
Labonte finished 1st and 5th in the 2003 Atlanta races. He hasn’t seen the top ten at AMS since. But I played a hunch in this week’s One and Done NASCAR fantasy game. I took the No. 96 Ask.com Ford Fusion to win. I’m hoping those Doug Yates motors hold together for 500 miles. If they do, I like my chances.
Bobby and sponsor Ask.com are supporting the cause of safe Internet use for kids. Here’s what they have going for this weekend in Atlanta.
Before getting into the No. 96 Ask.com Ford Fusion for his qualifying laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, March 6, driver Bobby Labonte will give a deserving fifth grader a ride to school and present Cotton Indian Elementary, in Stockbridge, Ga., a computer donation on behalf of Ask.com and the Safe Search Schools program. The program – a partnership between Ask.com, Web Wise Kids and NASCAR – launched in the Atlanta-area last month to promote Internet safety education and awareness. Local Atlanta teachers and students participated in the program by visiting safesearchschools.com, conducting Internet safety lessons and submitting their own ideas for how to be safe online. Cotton Indian Elementary was selected from nearly 200 entries by a Blue Ribbon Panel, comprised of Jim Safka, CEO of Ask.com; Mike Helton, president of NASCAR; Judi Westberg Warren, president of Web Wise Kids and Bobby Labonte, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Ask.com will continue to raise awareness about the importance of Internet safety education throughout the season by taking the program to other areas.
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowJanuary 22, 2009 7:11 pm UTC No Comments
Driving a Fusion for Hall of Fame Racing? That doesn’t inspire me much. I am, after all, a J J Yeley fan too and Hall of Shame didn’t do anything for J J ‘s career.
But the car will be supported through a hybrid, satellite deal where Hall of Fame’s No 96 will be powered and pitted by Doug Yates’ Racing team, which also seems to mean support from Jack Roush and Roush-Fenway’s Ford factory team.
So given some of the scenarios I’d heard and read about concerning Texas Bobby, driving a car with solid support from one of the best organizations in the sport, is about as good as it could get I guess.
And that car will have full season sponsorship from NASCAR’s new “official seach engine“. Ask.com. Spiffy paint scheme too – flames and everything. He’ll get to debut the Ask.com no 96 Fusion in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway next month.
Maybe Labonte will relax a bit too, now that he isn’t “the Great Petty Blue Hope”.