UPDATE August 2011: This post will no longer be updated.
Links to my racing columns, Crazy Woman Driver
and Views From The Grandstands,
are now on a separate blog page.
Please check there for the my racing rants and raves.
I'm begging your indulgence today to take a brief detour off the usual tax and financial matters highway.
As long-time readers know, I'm a NASCAR fan, having blogged previously about some of Jeff Gordon's racing milestones (here and here). This weekend, NASCAR pulled into my home state, taking the track at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
That's a little over three hours away from my Austin home, a negligible drive by Texas standards. Heck, I once traveled seven hours from Lubbock to Dallas for an Eagles concert, then after the encore turned around and headed right back home, albeit at a much younger age and as a passenger who got to doze a bit.
But I'm not at TMS today. Neither distance nor age is the problem. Rather, I've still got just too much left to do this tax season. I do hope, however, to make it up there for the November race. And I'll be doing so as an official motorsports media member.
Yep, one of my newer journalism jobs is as the racing columnist for a national trucking magazine, one of the many publications of Randall-Reilly Publishing Co. Actually, it's a double mag; a digest that opens to Company Driver on one side and then, when you flip it over, becomes Owner Operator.
I've gotta thank my friend and fellow racing enthusiast JL, editor of the mags, for giving me the chance to pontificate on all types of racing.
And I've got to especially thank him for championing the name I selected for the column: Crazy Woman Driver.
I've gotta chuckle, though, at a couple of things. First, I didn't realize that the photo I sent the magazine would make my 'do look so much like a mullet when it was converted to the column's logo.
Then there are the many, many, many times in the March issue, in which the inaugural CWD column appeared, where it was noted that I, the female author, came up with the title.
I guess the publisher didn't want any women drivers mad at the company! I totally understand, and I take full blame or, if you have a skewed sense of humor like me, credit for the name.
In trying to live up to that moniker, I get to sound off on all types of racing and motorsports issues. My March column looked at the bum rap international race fans give America's premier racing league. In April, I gave NASCAR officials tips on how to get back in fans' good graces.
Coming up in May, I tee off on greedy Tony George, the man who did all he could to wreck open wheel racing in the United States. I'm cogitating now on the June topic.
Digital driving: In addition to bound formats that drivers can carry with them in their cabs, the magazines are online in digital versions. That explains all the WiFi service at truck stops nationwide.
So below are links to the magazines, most recent issue first, with the columns.
If you're a racing fan, bookmark this entry. As more columns are published, I'll provide those links, too. And feel free to drop me a note if you agree, disagree or have a racing topic you think I need to address.
Expanded circulation: Beginning in March 2009, my racing column circulation expanded. It now is in another Randall-Reilly magazine, Truckers News. It's called Views from the Grandstands, but the "crazy" sentiments will continue.
In April, the column appeared in both Owner Operator as Crazy Woman Driver and with its "saner" name in Truckers News. Then in May, Crazy Woman Driver raced over to another Randall-Reilly digest, Changing Lanes. The column also periodically appears in Best Driver Jobs.
Links to all versions of my racing rants and raves are below.
- Racing Report Card. At mid-season, things aren't looking so great for all your racing series' grades. Truckers News, July 2011, page 36.
- What's the Points? NASCAR's revamped driver points system is better, but not good enough. Truckers News, June 2011, page 32; Best Driver Jobs, June 2011, page 40.
- Glad Tidings ... And Good Luck. As the Indy 500 celebrates its 100th anniversary, recapturing series glory days presents big challenge. Truckers News, May 2011, page 40; Best Driver Jobs, May 2011, page 38.
- Better, Not Shorter. Attention-challenged fans, TV execs and even some drivers say NASCAR's problem is too-long races, but they're wrong. Truckers News, April 2011, page 34; Best Driver Jobs, April 2011, page 38.
- NHRA is the USA. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is a perfect microcosm of the United States and the world. Truckers News, March 2011, page 34; Changing Lanes, March 2011, page 40.
- King of the Open Wheel. Chip Ganassi's open-wheel teams were 2010's cream of the crop, but his Spring Cup lagged. Truckers News, February 2011, page 34; Changing Lanes, February 2011, page 42.
- What's Wrong With Junior? NASCAR's most popular driver is raking in the bucks in endorsements, but his racetrack perforance is a bust. Truckers News, January 2011, page 34; Changing Lanes, January 2011, page 38.
- Dear Racing Santa. St. Nick knows a thing or two about speed, seeing as how he gets around the world in one night. So he's in the perfect position to bring us fans, drivers and racing leagues just what we want for Christmas. Truckers News, December 2010, page 32.
- Racing Thanks. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are some specifics that make us glad for all the on-track action. Truckers News, November 2010, page 34; Changing Lanes, November 2010, page 33.
- Wanted: New Young Racing Guns. NASCAR's ranks are devoid of up-and-coming young drivers. The sport needs to remedy that situation and fast, or it risks losing an entire generation of fans. Truckers News, October 2010, page 36; Changing Lanes, October 2010, page 24.
- Backmarkers, Be Gone! It's time for NASCAR to get tough with drivers who just aren't competitive. Truckers News, September 2010, page 38; Changing Lanes, September 2010, page 24.
- Bring Back NASCAR's Crown Jewels Competition. Want to increase interest in NASCAR? Give fans a chance to see drivers compete to win three of four races on thesport's toughest, most historic tracks. Truckers News, August 2010, page 38; Changing Lanes, August 2010, page 22.
- Cost of Cost Controls. NASCAR's efforts to make the sport more affordable is actually hurting smaller teams. Truckers News, July 2010, page 40; Changing Lanes, July 2010, page 22 (not available online).
- Bring Back the No. 3. After a decade without the classic Earnhardt car in NASCAR's top-level races, 2011 is the perfect time for Richard Childress to put that ebony icon back on the track. Truckers News, June 2010, page 46; Changing Lanes, June 2010, page 40.
- It's time for NASCAR to take charge. Despite Carl Edwards' admission that he intentionally crashed a fellow driver, he didn't face any real punishment by NASCAR. Why? Because the sport has decided this year to let the drivers handle things on their own. Not a good idea. Truckers News, May 2010, page 42; Changing Lanes, May 2010, page 36.
- Trimming the Tracks. NASCAR's schedule has race fans seeing double too much of the time. It's time for the sport to shorten its season and include a true mix of courses. Truckers News, April 2010, page 38; Changing Lanes, April 2010, page 38.
- Around the Racing Circuits. NASCAR started its engines a month ago, but March brings even more motorsports. Truckers News, March 2010, page 40; Changing Lanes, March 2010, page 24.
- NASCAR's Toughest Competition? Rain. There's no way to beat Mother Nature, but NASCAR can improve how it competes with her. Truckers News, February 2010, page 34; Changing Lanes, February 2010, page 13.
- It's Time to Change the Chase. If you can't beat 'em, make 'em better. Here are some ways that NASCAR can improve its chase for the championship playoff. Truckers News, January 2010, page 37; Changing Lanes, January 2010, page 13.
- Dear Santa, Here's what racing needs. Here are some suggestions so St. Nick can put the perfect present under racers' and racing fans' trees. Truckers News, December 2009, page 41; Changing Lanes, December 2009, page 20.
- C-O-T needs T-U-N-E-U-P. The Car of Tomorrow may sound like it's humming, but an overhaul is in order to keep fans and drivers happy. Truckers News, November 2009, page 41; Changing Lanes, November 2009, page 31.
- Ageless Champ. Mark Martin is is acting his age, and like a champion. As NASCAR's oldest full-time driver, Martin is peerless on the track,where he's having a career year. Truckers News, October 2009, page 41; Changing Lanes, October 2009, page 19.
- Get the big boys off the other tracks. In this tough economy it's time for NASCAR to quit letting the top tier drivers pick the pockets of the lower-level series' teams. Truckers News, September 2009, page 52; Changing Lanes, September 2009, page 23.
- A New Era. It's the All-American sports car. But on the track it's even more. Corvette Racing approaches a decade of phenomenal American Le Mans Success. Truckers News, August 2009, page 46; Changing Lanes, August 2009, page 21.
- Wrecking Isn't racing. Hey, all you so-called "fans" who watch NASCAR just to see crunched sheet metal, I have two words for you: Go Away! Truckers News, July 2009, page 46; Changing Lanes, July 2009, page 21.
- Multicar mania. There is strength in numbers. Just ask Rick Hendrick, the man who gave NASCAR the modern-day multicar team concept. His drivers are always near the top of the standings. Truckers News, June 2009, page 40; Changing Lanes, June 2009, page 25.
- Doing Double Duty. A plea for IRL and NASCAR to settle their differences over the biggest weekend in racing. Truckers News, May 2009, page 44; Changing Lanes, May 2009, page 20.
- A Perfect Partnership. Now that Kyle Petty no longer has a full-time NASCAR ride, it's time for the sports leadership to hire Kyle as its official goodwill ambassador. Truckers News, April 2009, Page 42; Owner Operator, April 2009, page 25.
- A Triple Crown. NASCAR's grueling season needs to hand out more hardware to reward competitors' efforts. Truckers News, March 2009, Page 35.
- NASCAR's Personal Touch Makes the Sport Special. NASCAR executives recognize the value of their fans. Owner Operator, February 2009, Page 22.
- Qualifying the Hard Way (or as it should be). Let's make getting into the race as fun as the race itself. Owner Operator, January 2009, Page 51.
- Uh oh, Donner's Spun Blitzen into the Wall on Turn Four. Crazy Woman Driver's racing wish list for Ol' Saint Nick. Owner Operator, December 2008, Page 34.
- Fights Under the Lights. Saturday Night is alright for NASCAR racing. Owner Operator, November 2008, Page 45.
- Open-wheelers go home! NASCAR interlopers aren't cutting it so it's time we sent most of them back to the unfendered circuits where they can do less damage to cars are well as their careers. Owner Operator, October 2008, Page 42.
- F1 is Fun! American race fans, here are some reasons why you should give Formula 1 racing a chance. Owner Operator, September 2008, Page 40.
- Rick was Right. In NASCAR, chemistry is king and that was the key in bumping Kyle Busch from his HMS ride. Owner Operator, August 2008, Page 36. (Check out my blog addendum for a bit more on this topic.)
- Women Racers Rule! OK, not quite yet. But female drivers are making inroads at types of tracks. Owner Operator, July 2008, Page 40.
- The last NASCAR hero. It's probably not who you think. Owner Operator, June 2008, Page 48.
- The Brickyard is Back! Tony George tried to kill U.S. open wheel racing, but reunification (finally!) means we might once again see some decent racing at Indianapolis. Owner Operator, May 2008, Page 38.
- NASCAR needs to put fans first. Making up is hard to do, but NASCAR could try. Owner Operator, April 2008, Page 35.
- Get Real Europe! Questionable world rankings put down NASCAR stars. Company Driver, March 2008, Page 30.
Now it's getting close to the the green flag, so I'm pulling into the blogging garage for a while. And, oh yeah: Go 24!