Archive for the ‘NASCAR’ Category

This bloke can.  With thanks to PK for bringing Pastor Joe Nelms to my attention.

It’s standard practice before any NASCAR race for there to be an invocation, followed by the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner.  It’s a very American affair, with plenty of patriotism on show.  Most of the invocations seem like standard fare to these non-religious ears, which is to say they don’t praise the Lord for V8 engines and racing tyres, nor do they quote racer-turned-commentator Darrell Waltrip’s famous race-opening catchphrase.  This invocation does all of those things and a whole lot more:

If you’re ever in Lebanon, Tennessee, drop by Family Baptist Church and drop a few bucks onto the collection plate.  It feels like the least we can do.


Thanks to all who’ve expressed their opinions on the title of that last post.  Never let it be said that this writer doesn’t know his core audience.

Good management requires a great many skills.  A successful manager should be adept at dealing with people of all ages and backgrounds, able to motivate and build morale, demonstrate excellent team building techniques and communicate effectively with all of their key stakeholders.  If you’re the PR manager who asked me to give a favourable review to a particular video game in the middle of 2004, you should also have considered the idea that I might have meant it when I said, “buy me a foot-long steak and cheese and I’ll think about it.”

I didn’t, of course.  I was just a bit peckish.

To the above list of skills, we can now add manual dexterity.  Taking the idea that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, then running up to, alongside and some distance beyond its logical conclusion, here’s Kyle Busch Motorsports general manager Rick Ren discussing Kimi Raikkonen’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series test at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia:

“On one hand, I am obviously not surprised at all, with the type of experience Kimi has and his championship pedigree.  But on the other hand, I am very pleasantly surprised.”

Thank goodness we’ve cleared that up.

Very briefly, via his manager Steve Robertson, for exactly one sentence, four paragraphs into this story here.

At all of its many levels, NASCAR is a sport which strongly encourages drivers to build up some kind of personality for the fans to love unconditionally (see Dale Earnhardt Jr) or roundly despise (cough Kyle Busch cough), while remembering to namecheck all 327 of your sponsors on any given weekend and treat every interview as a PR opportunity.  Kimi Raikkonen likes driving cars, dislikes any kind of fan interaction or media activity and spends much of his free time holidaying in the small Norwegian village of Unintelligibuhl.

To call Kimi Raikkonen and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series unlikely bedfellows is akin to calling the Cuban Missile Crisis a slight falling-out.  He’s not a massive box office draw these days, has no appetite for racing’s corporate side and has no previous oval racing experience.  His second year in the World Rally Championship is so far proving to be no better than his first, though, and the opportunity to briefly try a new way of travelling very quickly is surely difficult to resist for a man who has always had great awareness of the world outside of Formula 1.  Don’t be too surprised that Kimi’s giving NASCAR a quick whirl, joining friend of Nelson Piquet Jr in the truck series.  Be incredibly surprised if he stays there for any great length of time.