Tag Archives: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Strange Names for Rock Bands

I thought early in my life I was born about 300 years too early. I fancied myself more of the Hans Solo type blasting away at aliens in a galaxy far, far away.  Turns out I was born exactly when I was supposed to be. I mean, think about it…

I’m a halfway decent writer with a bit of an odd take on things. What better time could a budding writer late in his career have been born? Between Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Abby Hoffman, Haight Ashbury and Rock And Roll music, I have pretty much a never-ending source of material.

I do wonder about some of these band names to come out of my generation. Take the Strawberry Alarm Clock for example. I suspect drugs were involved in the naming of this band. I see the conversation playing out like this:

Guitarist: Hey dude… My alarm clock looks like a strawberry.
Drummer: Far out man… Hey, that would be a great band name!
Guitarist: What….. hey dude?
Drummer: No… Alarm Clock Strawberry

And by the next morning, somewhat recalling the conversation, they mis-remembered the conversation and Strawberry Alarm Clock was born. In an ironic rock and roll twist, SAC early member Steve Bartek went on to play guitar for Oingo Boingo. I wouldn’t dare take a stab at that conversation.

Through the years there have been some very strange band names:

Electric Prunes
Hootie and The Blowfish
Wang Chung
Twisted Sister
Men Without Hats
Mott the Hoople
Fine Young Cannibals
Toad the Wet Sprocket
Butthole Surfers
Violent Femmes
Smash Mouth

Just to name a few off the top of my head. Naming a band is an art. It’s about marketing and voice-ablity. It’s got to have zing. I mean think about it — doesn’t “Butthole Surfers” just role off your tongue? uh…. never mind… don’t answer that.

Which brings me to the genesis of this blog posting. I happened to catch a new and upcoming group climbing the ladder of Indie label success. Their name? Are you sure you are ready for this?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Yeah, I thought it was a cruel joke being played on my highly gullible psyche. I thought somebody was yanking my Rock and Roll/NASCAR chains. And then I saw this…



You have to wonder what NASCAR’s native son, Dale Jr, thinks about this.

It’s either one of the most brilliant marketing ideas to come down the front stretch in a hundred years… or there were drugs involved in the naming of this band.

Kurt Busch Wins in Wine Country

Article first published as Kurt Busch Wins in Wine Country on Technorati.

Kurt Busch won the 23rd Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350, his 23rd victory in 380 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Ricky Rudd for 26th on the all-time victory list.

It was his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2011. His last win was May 30, 2010, in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This victory ends a 38-race winless streak.

Sunday was his first win and fourth top-10 finish in 11 races at Infineon Raceway. This is Busch’s first road course victory. His previous best road race was second last year at Watkins Glen International. His best Infineon finish in the past was third in 2005.

Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 15th top-10 in 19 races at Infineon Raceway. It is his sixth top-10 in 2011. Carl Edwards (third) posted his third top-10 in seven races at Infineon Raceway. Andy Lally (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.

Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 25 points over Kevin Harvick.

Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt retired the #88 Amp Energy Chevy on lap 45 due to engine failure. He finished 41st, his worst of the season, and fell to seventh in the championship points.

The next Sprint Cup event will be the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Speedway, Saturday night, July 2, 7:30pm EST. (TNT TV)
Source: NASCARmedia.com

Between Ecstasy and Error

The first big race of the day had it — the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. On the last turn of the Indy 500, rookie J.R. Hildebrand smacked the outside wall and allowed Dan Wheldon to slip past for the win. It was a rookie mistake that will haunt him the rest of his life.

Destiny was just getting warmed up.

Fast forward a few hours to the last two laps of the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in full-bore fuel conservation mode and sitting at the head of the pack. After a late race caution Junior tried every trick in the book to save every drop of precious Sunoco racing fuel. He was one trick short.

“We weren’t supposed to win tonight,” Earnhardt said. “We played our hand, and those other guys came in (for fuel). I tried to save a ton of gas, but I know I didn’t save enough. I tried to save as much as I could. I’m disappointed we didn’t win. I know all our fans were disappointed to come so close.

“We were a top-five car. This was our Vegas car, and it’s really, really good, so we’ll keep taking it to racetracks and running good. We were so fast at the start of the race, and once the sun went down we kind of went back. We ran good tonight. I’m proud. I’m proud of my guys, and I’m proud of the car we unloaded.”

Coming out of turn four heading toward the checkered flag Earhardt’s chevy sipped the last remaining ounce of fuel and sputtered to an all out coast. Kevin Harvick and others flew past the slowing Amp Energy Drink machine and Earnhardt drifted to a disappointing seventh. Junior nation missed euphoria by that much.

Davin Ragan followed Harvick for a runner-up finish, the best of his career. Joey Logano took third, Kurt Busch fourth and A.J. Allmendinger slips in for a top five. Australian Marcos Ambrose took sixth, Earnhardt Jr. seventh, followed by Regan SmithDavid Reutimann and Denny Hamlin limped into the tenth spot.

It was the third victory of the season for Harvick, who doesn’t even like racing at the North Carolina track.  “Today we were lucky,” he said. “I told them at the beginning of this thing that we haven’t fixed this thing in two weeks, there’s no way we’re going to fix it today. Nothing against this racetrack—I just don’t like racing here. It just doesn’t feel right. … I griped and griped and griped all freaking day long about how terrible it was. I just have a bad attitude here, so hopefully this helps.”

Defending champion Jimmie Johnson lost an engine late in the race and dropped to third in the standings.

NASCAR moves the show to Kansas for the STP 400 next Sunday on Fox TV.

Junior Nation Wringing Their Hands in Frustration

Article first published as Junior Nation Wringing Their Hands in Frustration on Technorati.

Junior Nation is not a small country south of the border. Junior Nation is about one man — Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver and son of a Hall-of-Famer with a fan base every other competitor dreams of. Even five-time champ Jimmy Johnson does not have a “Nation.”

Dale Jr. fell four laps short of giving something The Nation wants more than tee-shirts and coozie cups. They want Junior in Victory Lane. They want to see their idol jumping on top of the car, fists in the air, confetti sticking to his face, the Sprint Cup girl practically in tears, and even old DW up in the broadcast booth weeping.

It’s a dream that has gone on now for nearly 100 races. The last time Jr. visited Victory Lane was June of ’08 at Michigan.

But hopes are high in Junior Nation. Their hero is running good and high in the standings. Since a rough start in Daytona where he finished 24th, he hasn’t finished worse than 12th. He has three top tens and a second last week at Martinsville.

Texas Motor Speedway is the site of Junior’s first win on April 2, 2000. Everybody remembers when he came back to Daytona just a few months after losing his famous father in turn four and drove his memory straight into the winner’s circle. His best season was 2004 where he won six races including a hot August night in Bristol.

Then, Dale’s fortunes fell away, winning only one race in 2005 and 2006, none in 2007 and then his last victory in Michigan — 2008. A quiet hush fell over Junior Nation as the throng wondered when he would find another checkered flag. Some have described his performance of the last two seasons as abysmal and even amateurish. But Dale soldiered on.

Then in 2010, Junior showed up in Daytona with a little bounce in his step. He had a new crew chief and a new attitude. Dark clouds were leaving The Nation and every fan believed with every beat of their Sprint Cup heart the time was near.

An Earnhardt win would be good for NASCAR, good for the team and good for every fan of this special icon of the sport.

A fair warning to corporate America. Monday after Dale’s next win may be a little sparse around the office. Junior Nation will still be in the throes of Sunday’s celebration.

Racing begins Friday evening with the Nationwide Series, O’Reilly Autoparts 300 at  8:30 p.m. EST and the Sprint Cup Samsung Mobile 500, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.