The Herald-Dispatch |

At the Track
We'll note happenings at the national and local levels of racing.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Country music and racing

Should you find yourself in Nashville on April 7 – yes, we know it’s the day before Easter – swing by Courtyard by Mariott on East Park Drive in Brentwood at 10 a.m. and meet country music recording artist Julie Roberts.

She will be appearing to promote her new single “Men and Mascara” and Revelocity Racing. No ticket is necessary, just show up.

Revelocity will debut at that afternoon’s NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi 300, with the #73 Ford Fusion, driven by Ona native Brett Rowe. Roberts will be the guest sponsor of Revelocity and it’s Honorary Crew Chief for the day.

Jason Hager, Revelocity’s CEO, said Roberts will also be the day’s Grand Marshal on behalf of the team at the race.

You can find out more about the team at or about Roberts at her website, Remember, that’s Julie, not Julia, Roberts. Vast difference.

If you can’t make the race in Nashville, watch it at 3 p.m. on ESPN.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Where do you watch races?

The NASCAR Busch Series takes a breather this week while the NEXTEL Cup and Craftsman Truck Series tear it up at Martinsville.

For those of you without cable, you have two races to watch on Fox –The Kroger 250 at 3 p.m. Saturday and the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

As of today, your Cup leader is Jeff Gordon, followed closely by Jeff Burton, who is only 3 points back. Jimmie Johnson is in third, 75 points away and fourth is Matt Kenseth, 94 points back.

Mark Martin took off the weekend at Bristol and went from the lead to only seventh place, 162 points out of the lead.

How did he spend his day off – the first in more than 600 races? Watching the Food City 500 on television and helping son Matt with his late model race. Big surprise.

Yeah, but did he watch the race from the rocking chair he was given by Fox TV at his first retirement in 2005?

What I want to know is where do you go to watch the races on television?
Thanks to Larry Keesee for the Mark Martin photo at Darlington a couple of years ago. Larry said when Mark saw him taking the photo, he just stood there and posed.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Getting ready to race

I got to spend some quality time with Revelocity Racing and Brett Rowe last Friday at Tomahawks Smokehouse and Saloon at his meet and greet with the fans.

It was good to have face time with not just Brett and his wife Shelley, but the others involved at Revelocity.

We spoke briefly about his run at Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and, needless to say, the reason he got so much camera time – his meeting with the wall in lap 4 and replays at virtually every caution flag that dropped.

Any time Rusty Wallace is talking about you is good, but gee, that’s a hard way to get noticed.

Any publicity is good publicity, said Revelocity CEO Jason Hager. If they don’t talk about you, you apparently aren’t standing out in the crowd.

Brett said he didn't black out when he missed the SAFER barrier by a dozen feet and hit driver side into the wall, but he said he hit hard.

Brett is getting prepared to qualify for the Busch race at Nashville on April 7. His car and back up are in North Carolina, and on the evening of his autograph session, getting the seats installed.

A gaggle of friends of Revelocity showed up along with the Official NASCAR Members Club to support Brett, who signed autographs and took photos with the fans.

ONMC members including a few local chapter presidents and a national advisor are in discussion of making the trip to Nashville to cheer on Revelocity.

If you want more information, or to express interest in joining the ONMC or going to the Nashville race, contact the ONMC local chapters from, Paul Mullins, National Advisor at; me, Huntington Local Chapter President at; or Beckley Local Chapter President Barbara Burdette at If you live in another area, you can find a local chapter at

To find out more about Brett Rowe and Revelocity Racing, visit their website at

Car of Today

OK gang, we’ve seen it now, the Car of Tomorrow, er, the Car of Today.

Did you hear race winner Kyle Busch? “I still can’t stand to drive ‘em, they suck.”

Tell us what you really think, Kyle.

Well everyone likes how they look, at least. They do look pretty cool and pretty stock, which is something new for the National Association of STOCK CAR Racing. Let’s not get started on the idea of stock car racing being done with stock cars. Oh, on second thought, weigh in on that, too.

The COT is touted by NASCAR as being safer for the drivers and a car to provide better racing for the fans.

Do 15 cautions really mean better racing for the fans? Do 15 cars on the lead lap with about 50 to go mean better racing for the fans?

Just asking.

What do y’all think?

About our photo:
David Ragan (6) spins out in front of Juan Pablo Montoya, left, and Denny Hamlin, behind Ragan, during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Food City 500 auto race in Bristol, Tenn., Sunday, March 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tires, walls and other thoughts

Well, Goodyear tried to spin the tire issue their way Saturday during the Busch race in Atlanta.

Didn’t work in my book. Everyone had problems with tires, everyone complained about tires and car chiefs really weren’t happy with tire performance – or lack thereof.

And those complaints carried over to the Cup race Sunday.

Weren’t the final few laps of the Cup race good? Some seriously good racing between Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. Yeah, Tony whined about getting squeezed into the wall, but wow, good, hard racing and hat’s off to Jimmie, who said it wasn't his intentionn to put Tony into the wall. Not my choice for the winner, but hey, that’s just me. He had the chance to pass, did it and won and that’s what matters.

And you gotta love the commercial for the Cup Jimmie and Elliott Sadler have out. Elliott gives advice, but Jimmie calls in the Cup and stands there.

He has it for a reason, and Sunday was just another cog in the wheel as to why.

Congrats, Jimmie.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Meet and greet

Saturday was a tough day for Barboursville’s Brett Rowe. He crashed hard on lap 4 of the Sam’s Town 300 in Las Vegas and collected a DNF.

Some of us watching held our collective breaths until he loosened the windownet.

Now Brett can look forward to Nashville on April 7, when he cuts loose with Revelocity Racing.

There will be a meet and greet for Brett at Tomahawks on U.S. Route 60 in Jefferson, W.Va. from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 23. He’ll be there for photos and autographs with his team.

The event is sponsored by the Official NASCAR Members Club and is open to the public. Tomahawks – which is one neat motorcycle shop, too – is the Official Clubhouse of the ONMC in West Virginia.

So come on out, purchase some food and legal beverages from the menu and talk racing with Brett, Revelocity and the ONMC.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Good luck, Brett

Qualifying for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will take to the airwaves live Friday night at 8 p.m. on SPEED.

That will be the Tri-State’s first chance to see hometown racer Brett Rowe in action this season.

He’s got his work cut out for him, though. He’ll be competing with those we affectionately call the Buschwhackers with last’s year’s race winner Kasey Kahne leading the charge.

Brett ended last season 9th in the ARCA RE/MAX series with 23 races and six top 10 finishes, including a second place finish at the Southern Illinois 100.

This weekend he’ll be racing for his past sponsor, Day Enterprises.

He’ll kick off this year’s campaign in the #73 Imperial Bedding Ford Fusion with Revelocity Racing at the April 7 Busch Series Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

There will be a meet and greet Friday, March 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. Tomahawks Smokehouse in St. Albans to give Brett a sendoff to Nashville.

But first things first.

Send Brett your best wishes for the Vegas outing at

Monday, March 5, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

Barboursville’s Brett Rowe is planning to hit Vegas racing this weekend in the Sam’s Town 300 Busch Race.

You can catch the action on ABC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We hope to make the hometown people proud,” Brett said Monday from his shop in Barboursville.

He’ll be Nevada-bound on Thursday with his Day Enterprises racecar.

Plans are to qualify for a bunch of Busch races this season with Revelocity Racing, a West Virginia team.

Brett said he’s looking toward running at Nashville, Richmond and Kentucky at the least. And the Kentucky race in June is a perfect road trip for fans.

The 39-year-old driver still works full time at the family business, Imperial Bedding, and puts in plenty more hours at the shop on his parents’ farm in Barboursville.

So, come on racefans, let’s get behind this homegrown racer. Who knows, we might just come up with our own version of Owensboro, Ky., prominence.