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Dale Jr. Wins in #3 Car for Daddy

Anything less than a trip to victory lane would have been coming up short for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who accomplished just that as he raced his father’s No. 3 Wrangler car to the win on Friday at the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Dale Jr. decided to pay tribute to his father by driving the throwback vehicle in commemoration of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. being inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame. It’s safe to say that Dale Jr. has had a rough time over the last couple of years. The race was Dale Jr.’s first victory since the 2008 Sprint Cup Series in Michigan, and he knew it was a must-win:

I was so worried that I wasn’t going to win, because nothing but winning was good enough. If you didn’t win, what a waste of time. I worked hard to try to win it, not only for Daddy, I am proud of him going into the Hall of Fame, and he would be proud of this, I’m sure.”

Now as heartwarming as this story is, my first instinct was to assume that this was all about the money like so much else in NASCAR often is. However, after taking a look at Ed Hinton’s blog over at ESPN.com, I feel free to be more optimistic, at least for the moment. This was a race that Dale Jr. wanted to run, and something that could have only been accomplished through the cooperation of, as Hinton lists, “Hendrick Motorsports (engines), Senior’s longtime car owner Richard Childress (rights to the number), Dale Jr. and Kelley’s JR Motorsports, and Teresa Earnhardt.” Dale Jr. showed real maturity in this race, and it’s safe to say he did justice to sending the No. 3 and his father into the Hall of Fame.

Sources:
Dale Jr. nets Daytona Nationwide win in father’s No. 3 [AP/SI]
Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Joey Logano: Kevin Harvick’s Wife ‘Wears the Firesuit in the Family’

Sunday’s finish at Pocono involving a crash between Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick was reminiscent of the way their Nationwide Series race ended in March. In Bristol that weekend, the two drivers were battling for fifth on the final lap when Harvick dumped Logano who ended up 14th. Almost the same thing happened on Sunday at the Pocono 500. Fighting for positioning, Harvick nudged Logano on the 198th lap, sending him spinning into the wall. Harvick wound up 4th while Logano finished 13th. If there was anything positive to come from the collision on the track, it was Logano’s priceless reaction. The 20-year-old unloaded on his counterpart after the race. Check out Joey Logano’s comments ragging on Kevin Harvick:

Without question that crash could have been avoided and it sure seems to me that Harvick is trying to send Logano a message on the track. Joe Gibbs, for whom Logano races, is saying he won’t interfere with the two drivers and he’ll just let them work it out. While Joe appears to be patient, something tells me this will take a while before it’s all settled. I’m glad Joey didn’t back down and allow Harvick to push him around.

Indy 500 Driver Busted for Speeding

Talk about your ultimate ironies. A guy who gets paid to drive at speeds consistently over 200mph on the racetrack was busted for speeding going down the highway. Driver Tomas Scheckter got a speeding ticket only two nights before the Indy 500 on Sunday:

Scheckter got a speeding ticket Friday night on Interstate 65 in Indianapolis, where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. Police say it was difficult to clock Scheckter accurately because he was weaving in and out of traffic.

Scheckter could have been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving but was instead given a ticket for driving at an unreasonable speed. The ticket carries a fine of $175 to $500.

Scheckter on his twitter page actually says he got preferential treatment: “they know who i am said normally i would be arrested but just gonna give me a ticket.” I guess it pays to be a racecar driver nobody outside of Indianapolis has heard of. In case you were wondering how he did, Scheckter finished 15th at the Indy 500.

Sources:
Indy 500 driver gets speeding ticket before race [AP/FOX Sports]
Tomas Scheckter on Twitter

Danica Patrick Booed for Blaming Car: ‘That Hurts My Feelings’

After going quite some time without controversy, Indy Car driver Danica Patrick has opened up a treasure chest of gold for her haters. Danica struggled through Indy 500 qualifying averaging just 224.217mph placing her 23rd heading into next weekend’s race. In an interview broadcast over the PA system following her qualifying run, Patrick blamed her car’s setup for the poor performance. The AP says Danica was fighting back tears after the run and you can tell in this Danica Patrick video that she was having a hard time:

Danica was complaining that her car was too loose and the rear tires weren’t gripping the track well:

“I wasn’t flat out the last two laps and I was scared to death flat on the first two,” Patrick said, her words booming out to the sizable Pole Day crowd around the 2.5-mile track. “I’ve never been bad here before. I’ve never been outside the top 10 on a finish or qualifying, so, it’s not my fault. The car is not good.”

In this case I do believe the fans were in the wrong because Patrick wasn’t calling out her team, she was stating facts about her car. Danica definitely needs to get some thicker skin so she doesn’t let fan reaction get to her too much. In several interviews I’ve heard from her she cares way too much about public perception. She needs to disregard what people say and just concentrate on what she does.

Sources:
Danica hears boos after poor qualifying at Indy [AP/FOX Sports]
Danica Patrick Booed, Struggles in Qualifiying at Indianapolis [FanHouse]

Dale Jr. Broke Up Amy Reimann’s Marriage with Tommy Cook?

That’s what the National Enquirer is saying, and after the way the whole Tiger Woods scandal ended up, there’s reason to believe their reporting is accurate. As Sports by Brooks informs us, the Enquirer has sources on record saying NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Amy Reimann had an affair that broke up Reimann’s marriage with former Kentucky football player, Tommy Cook. Cook is currently a graduate assistant/coach at Kentucky after playing wide receiver for the Wildcats from ’00-’05. Reimann was a former cheerleader at Kentucky but apparently met Dale Jr. while doing some interior design work at his home. Brooks has more of the scoop on the story:

Bo Mallette, who was best man at Cook’s wedding to Reimann, claimed on the record to the Enquirer that Earnhardt and Reimann had a relationship while she was still married to Cook: “Amy got involved with Dale Earnhardt while she was still married to Tommy. Their marriage didn’t even last two years.”

Cook’s father, Tommy, Sr., also told the Enquirer: “My son’s not talking about this. All I can say is that your (Enquirer) story’s true. Amy and Dale have been involved for awhile. My boy’s over it, he’s moved on. But what happened between Amy and Dale was wrong.”

As we always say, there are two sides to every story and this information is coming from a side that’s hurt and upset. Some facts are indisputable however, and some of those facts are that Cook and Reimann are getting divorced (or already are divorced) and Dale Jr. and Amy Reimann are now “dating.” With no wins on the season, maybe Earnhardt should consider a new girlfriend to turn his track fortunes around.

UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Amy Reimann made their first public appearance together at the 2011 NASCAR awards.

AMY REIMANN PICTURES

Jamie McMurray Crying After Winning Daytona 500

Winning the Daytona 500 in NASCAR is as big as it gets in the sport. It’s a lifelong dream for racers and an extremely fulfilling accomplishment. This feeling could not have been more evident than after Jamie McMurray won the race Sunday, holding off a charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take the checkered flag. McMurray was actually saddened after the race when he found out his wife and father were no longer present because they did not sit through the entire race (it lasted six hours because of a two hour delay to fix a pothole in the track). McMurray was so overwhelmed by his win that he wound up crying after the race. Here’s the video:

It looked like McMurray’s wife did make it back to the track to celebrate his win so we can only hope his father made it back too. Jamie did an excellent job blocking Junior down the stretch to wind up in victory lane so he definitely earned it. For a guy who was almost out of a job last year, this was quite the way to start off the new racing season and after seeing that video, it’s hard not to root for the guy. Congrats to McMurray on the victory.

Video: Kyle Busch Crashes in Final Lap, Tony Stewart Wins at Daytona

The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona didn’t end as hoped for Kyle Busch on Saturday. He was leading down the stretch and was trying to hold off Tony Stewart who was angling to make a pass to win the race. Busch held him off at first but then had a problem the second time that Stewart tried to make a pass. Check out the video:

It’s hard to say who’s really at fault but it seems to me that it was just a case of bad luck for Busch. He had to try and stay in front of Stewart to win the race and the bump to the rear sent him into the wall. Even Stewart wasn’t happy with the result despite winning the race:

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