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Posts Tagged ‘IndyCar/NHRA’

Ashley Judd, NASCAR Hardly Knew Ye

Posted by Matt on July 2, 2008

Nearly nine months to the day we welcomed Ashley Judd to NASCAR as her husband Dario Franchitti inked a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing in the fall of last year to drive the #40 Dodge in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series.

And now, just as soon as she came (that’s what she said), we must say goodbye to Ashley Judd as team owner Chip Ganassi announced Tuesday he will be canning Dario’s ride due to lack of funds and a full-time sponsor.

Now allow me to be side tracked for a moment. I have to question the quality of the corporate sales representatives of Chip Ganassi Racing if they are unable to sell ample sponsorship on a car that drives in a racing series that is the most watched weekly American sporting event, like, ever.

Sure, Franchitti and the #40 team struggled to find success this year but it was not for a lack of a big-name owner or talent on Dario’s part. In fact, after being part of the winning team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year, Franchitti became only the third driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500, the IndyCar Championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Rolex 24 in a career behind racing greats Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt — pretty solid company, if you ask me.

What is next for the open wheel senstation-turned-NASCAR failure, you might ask? My assumption is that he will shop around for another Sprint Cup or even Nationwide Series ride for the remainder of the 2008 season with a return to the now-unified IRL as a contingency plan for 2009 if needed.

Unfortunately for all of us this news means we won’t be seeing much of Ashley Judd in NASCAR anymore, at least for the time being, so we will just have to be content with all of the other drivers’ hot wives.

And look on the bright side, now we won’t be forced to listen to NASCAR broadcaster Larry McReynolds call Dario Franchitti, “Dario Francheatie.”

Now for gratuitous Ashely Judd pictures:

Linkage: NASCAR.com

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Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Indianapolis 500 Preview

Posted by Matt on May 26, 2007

Known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” as 33 drivers will take to the Brickyard for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500. The biggest question going in to tomorrow is who will hoist The Borg-Warner Trophy and drink the trademark bottle of milk this year?

The answer is never easy but it may be a solid bet that the winning driver may come from the first two rows of the starting grid (pops). The drivers comprising the front two rows, Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske), Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green Racing), Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing), Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Sam Hornish Junior (Marlboro Team Penske), and Dan Wheldon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) own four of the last six Indianapolis 500s and comprise the Top-6 in points on the season (not in that particular order). Additionally, Castroneves starts on the pole and already has two Indy 500 wins under his belt and Hornish won the 500 just last year in possibly one of the most exciting finishes in Indianapolis history, making this front six one of the strongest ever.

The teams considered to be the ‘big three’ — Marlboro Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Green Racing — own all four wins this season and own all six cars in the top two rows, so expect the winner to come from one of these three teams.

Dan Wheldon, of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, looked dominate last year before cutting a tire late, and with the points lead after four races, including two wins and 3 Top-5s. Furthermore, Wheldon already has two wins in four races this season making him the hottest driver in Indianapolis going in to tomorrow’s race staring on the outside of Row 2.

With the strength of the front two rows, with Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti looming in Row 3, and with Thomas Sheckter, Michael Andretti, and Scott Sharp close in Row 4, look for a very exciting race tomorrow. Coverage begins on the ABC Network at 12:00PM EST and the race itself starts at 1:00PM EST. By and far my favorite race of the year so be sure not to miss out!

Predictions:

Winner: Dan Wheldon, #10 Target Honda – Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Most Laps Lead: Helio Castroneves, #3 Team Penske Honda – Marlboro Team Penske

Most Likely To Raise Hell On Race Day: A. J. Foyt – Retired

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »