Saturday, October 21, 2006

AJ to NASCAR? Sure looks like it!

Anyone out there really think that Champ driver AJ Allmendinger is NOT coming to NASCAR? It certainly appears that he will be the next Open Wheel driver make the move to NASCAR!

For those who don't know, this young Californian has an even bigger Cinderella story than David Gilliland. In June of this year, AJ was fired from RuSport and five days later, hired by Forsythe Championship Racing. He then proceeded to rock the Champ world by winning his next three races.

AJ does have a current affiliation with Red Bull racing. Speed TV's Robin Miller Reports from Australia that it appears AJ has been offered some pretty big bucks to go to NASCAR. Here is a quote from Robin:

How big? Well, CSS Stellar Management (A.J.'s representatives) was asking Gerry Forsythe for $3 million a year to keep the kid he picked up off the unemployment line back in June.

Forsythe, who had offered Allmendinger a five-year contract with incentives and wanted his signature before this weekend, rejected that figure and basically stated they were too far apart to even continue negotiating.

That was a week ago, and everybody is pretty quiet on both sides. A.J. claims he hasn't signed anything, yet his fiancée told friends on Wednesday night, "We're going to NASCAR."

And nobody on his Forsythe crew seems to think he'll be back.

AJ has already shown quite a bit of potential in his first trips around the NASCAR ovals. Racing in the CTS truck owned by Bill Davis, he finished 13th and 5th. He will make his cup debut at Atlanta.

Is this influx of open-wheel drivers good for our sport? From the outside, one might think the extra publicity will help the image of NASCAR in the worldwide world of motorsports. Even though Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne made successful transitions, the series is littered with other drivers who failed to make the top ranks in NASCAR. Also, the newest wave of outsiders are closing the doors for many young talented drivers who have been working their way up through the stock car ranks.

Next year should be very interesting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

WoW Widow? What in the World is THAT?

Yes, I am a WoW Widow. The World of Warcraft is one of the world's most popular On-line games. A recent article on MSN Living a Virtual Life
illustrates the popularity of the game. It describes a small part of this Virtual World, the way it works, and what it looks like.

The article does describe the addictive nature of online gaming. But in no way does it really talk about what the addiction is really like!

My husband is a computer geek from the beginning of the personal computer age, starting with TRS-80 Level 1. (Whew that was a cool, cool thing to have!) About ten years ago, he finally got me into the computer age. Slowly but surely, the world of retail caught up also, and my avocation suddenly became more technologically advanced. A few years ago, I joined a NASCAR message board community, and became delighted at the friendships that I made there! My hubby, though, seemed to love the First Person Shooter type of games, and never really had much to do with any of the Fantasy Role Playing Games. (RPGs)

A year ago, a friend of ours, one we had been stationed with at an Air Force base in Japan (25 years ago!) was visiting, and he talked my hubby into the WoW. A D&D player from 30 years ago, the buddy kept insisting that Hubby would love it. Hubby took the plunge, and 14 months later, is totally hooked. He has a standing appointment 3 nights a week to join the Guild on runs. He 'grinds' away working to 'level' his lower rated characters early in the morning. He schedules appointments for Tuesday, when the server is down for patches. He spends more time of his WoW message board than I do my NASCAR forums. Some members of his Guild will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner, as they will just happen to be in Vegas that weekend!

I find it interesting that he has developed many friendships through his on-line playing. It is very similar to what I found with my message board. It apparantly has the same effect with most spouses or significant others. I once forced him to break off a game because we were late for an appointment, and he shared that his buddy had HIS spouse glaring at him with her hand on her hip, and tapping her toes!

The only mistake I made, is that I bought him an expensive, state of the art, headset for use while playing. It has such wonderful outside-noise reduction, that it is impossible to get his attention without shouting.

However, it has opened up a new avenue for Christmas gifts. The WoW Merchandise line will be at the top of my Shopping list. He has already received upgraded computer components for Birthday and Anniversary gifts. Some of the WoW tees and hoodies will be under the tree this Christmas. However, I will use WoW to leverage some goodies for me! LOL!

So, any other WoW widows out there?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Testing in Homestead, "Who Are You? Who? Who?


10/20/06 (according to AJ Allmendinger will be replacing Bill Elliott at the Atlanta race. It appears likely that our Mystery Man was AJ, being tested himself! I have a feeling we will soon know who our next Team Red Bull driver will be!


Reported on Sirius Speedway, from Homestead testing....Team Red Bull is testing Toyotas. But, how can they be testing? Their announced driver, Brian Vickers, is currently still on contract to Hendrick. They have yet to announce Brian's team mate. However, word via Sirius Speedway is that they have a driver there, who has never taken off his helmet during the whole first session. The driver is wearing a no-name drivers suit, with no logos. He keeps his helmet on. He disappeared inside the hauler for lunch. He was of average size and build, but the reporter was unable to discern the identity.

Who could this be? Is it an open-wheel driver who is trying to make the jump? Allmendinger? Villanueve? Tracy? Or is it a NASCAR driver who is still under contract to another team? Vickers? Nemechek? Kvapil? Schrader? Or a returning driver? Elliott? Rudd? Ward?

From what I heard, it is driving the media slightly crazy! What fun! I am off to get extra pop-corn, as the entertainment level is rising!