Monday, March 31, 2014

Kurt Busch comments on Keselowski's "punk-ass move" at Martinsville, threatens retaliation.

Despite a collision with Brad Keselowski , Kurt Bush was able to wrestle away victory from Jimmie Johnson and put his #41 in victory lane. It was Busch's first victory since the fall Dover race in 2011. Post race, Busch spoke about the incident with Keselowski.

"Yeah, I can't believe he overreacted and he's as upset as he is." Busch said. "The 5 car was trying to pull into his box, Brad ran into the back of him, I steered right to go around Brad and then he clobbers our left-side door, and it's like, okay, accidents happen on pit road. It's congested. It's not a place to race, because of all the pit crew guys down there and I didn't think much of it, and then once we were back out running, he targeted us, he was aiming for us. He tried to flatten all four of my tires. That's a no-fly zone. That's a punk-ass move and he will get what he gets back when I decide to give it back."

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sato earns pole for season opening Indycar event at St. Pete.

Takuma Sato earned the Verizon P1 Award for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a lap of 1 minute, 1.8686 seconds on a quickly-drying 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit.

Takuma Sato grabs P1 for Sunday's season opener.
Sato, driving the Honda-powered No. 14 ABC Supply car, earned his second pole start in his second season driving for A.J. Foyt Racing -- and second in a row when the starting lineup was set through the three rounds of qualifications. He qualified first for Race 1 at Houston in October, and qualifying for Race 2 was canceled because of rain.

The start of these rounds of qualifications was delayed more than three hours as a mid-afternoon rainstorm. The March 30 weather forecast is promising for the 110-lap race, which will be televised by ABC (3 p.m. ET).

"Over the course of the winter, we did really extensive winter test program," said Sato, who started second and finished eighth at St. Pete last year. "Everything worked out really well. We had a strong package last year here, but obviously there are quite a few changes on the car: tires, twin turbo engine. To come this weekend, qualifying, very dramatic weather change as well. Very pleased the league and promoters make possible for the qualifying session this evening because otherwise I would have to start middle of the pack (based on final 2013 entrant points)."

Tony Kanaan, making his debut in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, was .2951 of a second back and was equally pleased as Sato about the effort.

"I think it has been like three years since I have been in the top six," said Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner. "It feels really good. I can't thank the Target Chip Ganassi Racing guys enough. A lot of people made a lot of comments over the years because we struggled so much in qualifying on street and road courses and nobody was counting on that.  I like to be the element of surprise.  Nobody was talking about us at Indy last year and nobody was talking about this weekend."

Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher

Monday, March 17, 2014

Revis says it's all about winning in Foxboro.

The newest savior of the New England Patriots secondary Darrelle Revis met the media today in his first conference call as a member of the Pats. He certainly wants to make his message clear as he stayed on point as to his topic: It's all about winning.

"You know, first off, I want to say I’m very excited to be a part of the New England Patriots. But to answer your question, it’s basically about just winning, man. I weighed my options and I just wanted to win and I felt like this was the right place for me; to be a part of the Patriots organization." Revis said when he started his interview today.

He was asked by a member of the media if he could supply a little backstory on how he ended up in Foxboro. "We had to weigh our options. It was a lot of stuff going on after I got released, teams calling and we had to weigh our options. Me and my agents had to weigh our options. We felt like New England was the best place. They’re a winning program, they’re a winning organization and we wanted to be a part of it. I know the New England Patriots very well from playing against them when I was a Jet and we just felt like this is the right situation for me. Everything fell into place." Island stated.

Let's break it down a bit more succinctly. Revis could have gone someplace like Philly, Atlanta, or Oakland, and made serious bank doing so. Coming to Foxboro, Revis has an opportunity to lead the defense in a championship season. Doing so would restore him as the marquis corner in the NFL. As the marquis corner of a Super Bowl Champion, his market value would be off the charts. The east coast bias of the media would paint him as the anti-Sherman, and put him on the fast track to off the field earnings well in excess of what he would earn in a two or three year deal playing for a second tier team. So, yeah, it's all about winning, because winning will bring a Brinks truck full of money Revis' way.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Talib signs with Denver, making room for a possible trade for Revis.

The New England Patriots lost ground in their bid to overtake the Denver Broncos in the off season power rankings yesterday. Aquib Talib, considered by many to be the key of the New England defense, signed in Denver, a move that strengthens Denver and weakens, at least short term, the Patriots.

The deal is a bad contract. It's reported as a six year, $57m agreement with $26m guaranteed. This will be a problem for Denver later on. Today, Denver's defense is closer to being able to compete with Seattle than they were yesterday.

The only smear campaign FVP is going to engage in regarding Talib is his begging out of the last two AFC Championships after getting nicked up with what was determined to be "non-structural" injuries. Perhaps there's more to the story. It has to be a factor for the brain trust down on Route 1.

The Patriots have never been a "day one" of free agency type of team. They have historically sat out of the big, headline grabbing, glamour free agents, with the large contracts that typically become a problem for the team later on down the road. With that in mind, it bears watching what happens this off season to see what they elect to do to shore up the D.

In other news, CB Alterraun Verner has come to an agreement with Tampa Bay, which likely will mean the end of the Revis era in Tampa. The rumor is is that Revis can be had for a fifth round pick, and is willing to restructure his deal to be more cap friendly.

Wait an watch what happens.

Monday, March 10, 2014

FVP Monday Night All-Star: Julia

I usually try to come up with something relevant, like tonight's all-star is blah blah blah. You guys don't come to read what I write. She's Chinese born, Canadian raised, fluent in English and Mandarin. She's hot, and on facebook. Go follow her.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Harvick looks to follow up Phoenix victory with string test and weekend at Vegas.

Harvick leads a pack at Phoenix en route to win #1
Now that the "regular season" is underway, Kevin Harvick looks to head to Vegas with the Chase pressure off and an opportunity to run up front and pile up wins. The fact that the this new team/driver combination heads to Vegas with an extra day of testing Thursday can only help them get that much better. Happy spoke of that this week.

“For us, it’s a new team. We had some things here and there – a lot of things here and there – that we had to work through at Daytona and Phoenix and everybody did a good job. So, those four extra hours to get everything sorted out for us is important. But I think there are just so many new things, and the way you look at things, and the way you go about things, and the springs and things you run underneath the car. They are so drastically different than what you ran last year that we’re looking for that baseline to be able to understand exactly what we need and where to work from. In that same sense, things will evolve really fast because things are quite a bit different. So, you’ll have something that will evolve into something new by the time you get to the next week.” Harvick said.

Harvick also said “Well, we tested with the new no ride-height rule at Charlotte when we did the NASCAR test at the end of last year and I expect the cars to have a little bit more grip and a little bit more speed than what we had before. Along with that, when you have those changes in the car, it changes all the springs and the way the engineers go about looking at everything that they do. So it’s a whole different thought process than it was last year. And, as we found out at Daytona in the Sprint Unlimited, the main thing you have to pay attention to is being able to get the tires off the car on a pit stop. So, we had to adjust for that during the rest of Budweiser Speedweeks a little bit. I know they’ve worked hard on it, but things happen a lot more aggressively coming into the pit stall and everything is hot and so you’ve just got to make sure that’s right.”

Vegas has not been Happy's best track, with his best finish a second place in 2010. Harvick has only led 58 laps in 13 races. He looks to improve on his record this week.

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kurt Busch to attempt "the double".

2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Kurt Busch agreed to a deal with Andretti Autosport that will put him in the cockpit of an open wheeler for the Indianapolis 500. This will allow Busch to attempt the double, the first driver to try it since Robby Gordon qualified for both races in 2004.

“My dad, a Mac Tools distributor, and I would go to car shows and see Indy cars and he’d say, ‘This is about as close as you’ll ever get to one of these things’ because it was so far removed from what we could dream as a small blue-collar family from Las Vegas,” Busch said. “It’s just the different opportunities that have come up in motorsports (that have led me) to this biggest moment outside of stock cars.

“It was a talk over dinner (with his agent, John Caponigro) one night on ‘what if?’ and now it’s all becoming a realty for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti.

“I went once to watch the ‘500’ with Roger Penske when I first signed a contract with him to drive stock cars. To feel it, to experience it, I’m going to actually revert back to that to try to block out some of the emotional excitement of what it means to be part of the ‘500.’ To drive in it this year, nothing is going to compare, nothing can prepare or get me ready when they drop that green flag and 33 of us rush into Turn 1.”

Qualifications are May 17-18, with final practice on Carburetion Day May 23. Busch said a testing plan interspersed in the NASCAR schedule to “get up to speed” with teammates Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz is being drafted.

“It’s going to be a steady progression that I have to follow Andretti Autosport’s lead,” he said. “We have a full-blown test program to be the best-prepared we can for the Month of May. I will be a rookie, but I bring a lot of oval experience in and we’ll see how we can blend that in.

“It’s about absorbing as much as I can and chewing on it the right way. Sam Hornish Jr., who was a teammate of mine at Penske Racing, I mentored him as much as I could on the stock car side. Don’t think I’m not going to call him and try to get that favor back.”

The last driver to attempt the double was Robby Gordon in 2004. Gordon, who in 2002 and ’03 raced in both events, started the ’04 Indy 500 but left at the first red flag (rain) for North Carolina. Jaques Lazier finished the race for Gordon. John Andretti (1994) and Tony Stewart (1999 and 2001) also raced in both events. Stewart is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles – finishing sixth at Indianapolis and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I want to pop quiz everyone who’s done (the double) to learn as much as I can to just be able to anticipate what’s next and have things checked off your list so that you’re mentally prepared,” Busch said. “I have to thank Stewart Haas Racing for giving me the chance to fulfill this dream, to challenge myself in motorsports and to do something special in this day and age.”