Seven-Time

Image result for jimmie johnson se7en

History has been made, even if some don’t totally agree with the thought of it.

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jimmie Johnson won his seventh championship tonight, tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. on the all-time list. It is quite a monumental achievement, since not many would have thought the number would be caught after Dale Earnhardt won his seventh in 1994, 22 years ago. Jeff Gordon won four very quickly and there was a great possibility that he could have won more had the Chase not been implemented and Jimmie Johnson hadn’t suddenly started tearing up the racing scene, but Johnson and co. have set a new standard that cannot be easily replicated now.

The historic run was completed in only 15 years and eight of those were run for the championships; Jimmie won all of his championships since winning his first in 2006, five in a row at one time. He now has 80 wins after winning at Homestead-Miami for the first time, just 13 from tying his mentor Jeff Gordon. The run has been quite efficient and if you do the math, that is at least 5 wins per year.

I’ve been watching NASCAR racing for 13 years now and have seen drivers come and go: old timers like Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, and Bill Elliott and newcomers like Joey Logano and Kyle Larson. Of the 13 championship seasons that have come and gone, seven of those ended in a Jimmie Johnson victory, so yes, I have gotten to know this driver pretty well. In 2006, I managed to get his autograph at the airport as he and his wife were driving away in their SUV, he scribbling his short-hand signature on a piece of paper I had with me, looking like he was in a hurry to get out of there after having just raced at Michigan. That was the summer before he won his first championship and shortly after he won his third Coca-Cola 600 in a row. I still have that autograph, being stored in a yearbook of mine until I decide what to do with it once the X-time champ has finally retired.

There is nowhere to go but up now, to go for eight and possibly more. As long as Jimmie Johnson stays competitive, there is no end in sight for one of the greatest drivers of all-time. Sure, he won all of his titles in the Chase for the Championship era, an era that die-hard fans say isn’t real racing and is quite watered down, but hey, Jimmie won it fair and square and really is the only driver who has mastered the format in all of its versions over the years. After he won six, I like to say NASCAR tried to Jimmie-proof the Chase, making it harder to win the championship, but after getting a feel for it and failing at first, the team overcame the setbacks and claimed what was rightfully theirs: Lucky Number Seven.

The legendary Hendrick team of Johnson and Knaus have enjoyed scorching their competition and don’t look to be letting up just yet.

#NaNoPoblano2016 Day 20

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Racing Stripes

So racing at the Brickyard is back, for the Americans. The Brickyard 400. Recently retired Jeff Gordon is back in the car, driving the number 88, in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who suffered a concussion a few weeks ago. I’ve enjoyed racing since I was a small child and started watching all the races in 2003. Lately though, NASCAR has become boring and vanilla what with the new chase for the championship format and crowning a random driver champion every year. Turning back the clock, I realize how much the sport has changed with drivers coming and going and the added social layer of the Internet. Today I realized that one section of grandstands at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway was basically empty, a sad sign that an event once hyped and anticipated has lost it’s luster now in its 22nd year. Still great, but never will be the same.

Clock

 

S is for Stream of Thoughts

I thought I’d name off an assortment of things on my mind today to make this fun.

So long, Steve

First, I have to give my sincere condolences to the late Steve Byrnes and his family. The NASCAR broadcaster and analyst died April 21 at the age of 56 after battling cancer for several months. I’ve been watching NASCAR races for over 10 years now and always remember him doing pit box reports or giving interviews with drivers and he always was a professional at his job, a real joy to watch. He will be deeply missed by his long-time wife, son, and family as well as the entire NASCAR nation.

Survivor

I absolutely love this show and it seems to never fail every season. The show is in its 30th season; I’ve been watching since season 7 in 2003 which was Pearl Islands. And wow, has it changed a lot! The world has changed a lot as well (no Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube back then). I’ve changed a lot. The season on right now, which is titled ‘Worlds Apart’, has been one twist and blindside after the other, leaving us quite surprised and stunned (s words!) after each shocker of an episode (Rodney!). And there’s a YouTube sensation on there right now named Will Sims, famous for this one video:

Pretty funny, but I can’t seem to find his official YouTube channel with anything else he’s ever done. This can’t simply be it.

Spaghetti

This stringy food is one of my favorites, especially eaten with crispy garlic bread or never ending breadsticks. But tonight, the sauce was definitely not the best, lacked the thickness and rich tomato taste I’ve come accustomed to, wasn’t really a sauce but more like a ground up meat slush. I’m not saying my mom’s a bad cook, but well, she’s not exactly Chef Ramsey either…

Struggles

It’s been quite a struggle to find work here in Jackson since any jobs fit for me are scarce (a dishwasher, I guess?), but I’m far from giving up. I really want to move out of state someday and look for work as a designer or computer technician, since I seem to know a lot about computers and technology in general.

Struck him out!

Baseball season is now in full swing (pardon the pun) and the first month has some interesting developments: Washington, the team high on expectations, is under performing at sub par .500 with newly acquired pitcher Max Schrezer. The season is far from over for them but they’ll have to not only look good on paper but also on the field if they’re going to run for a championship. The Chicago Cubs are above .500 for once and may have gotten the answer in Chris Bryant, a player with the potential to be a major star (watch out Trout!). The Giants are in last place, but of course this is their off year with it being odd numbered. The Red Sox have woken up again this year and are primed to be a potential playoff threat, leading their division. Meanwhile, my beloved Tigers have not missed a beat from last year and look poised to go for the division championship once again – if the Royals aren’t to stand in their way. But how much buzz does baseball get at this time of year with the predictable and obvious NBA playoffs in full riot? Not nearly enough to wake old snoring grandpa from his sleep, that is.

Save the earth

Earth Day 2015

Today is, or was, Earth Day, and it’s too bad I couldn’t really get out to do something special like planting a garden or some flowers with the weather being bad. But Google had a neat Doodle on their homepage that I took for a spin. I also found out I’m a Shrimp Mantis from their “What animal are you?” quiz. Whatever that is supposed to mean, I’m not sure.

And last but not least…

Selfie-stick

I looked up this the other day and apparently it is not an entirely new thing, having been around since at least the 90s. But it was around 2013 during the Miley Cyrus craze when these things really started taking off. And now they’re being banned at not only sporting events, but also at concerts, in museums, restaurants, and many other places that are tightly packed or have close encounters, since they can be used as a potential weapon, destroy things, and bother people. Could also double as a golf club or a barbecue pit roaster. I still want one though!

April A to Z Challenge

Things to do during a NASCAR rain delay

The 2014 Daytona 500 got red flagged for rain so Jack and I got bored and started to present some interesting facts about the race, number one being the starting point.

1. Try to offer a scientific explanation of the commentators left to right positioning on screen:

The main speaker of the broadcast is always on the left, being the traditional rule in TV etiquette (at least here in America). The audience’s eyes seem to focus more on the left side of the screen so the guy who is going to speak the most will obviously be over there, with some exceptions. I know this is the thing in America but in other countries, such as Japan, it might be different. On talk shows, the guest star is on the left because he/she is the star, the one being spotlighted and the viewers eyes are trained on them. In America, we also read left to right, drive on the left side of the car, and on Windows computers have the start button to what Beyonce would say.

2. View highlights of classic driver fights, from the ‘water cooler’ race of 1979, to The Intimidator saying “that son of a bitch”, to ‘the shove’ of 2006 with Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, to the Edwards and Keselowski feuds at Talladega. And also a little bit of Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Tony Stewart mixed in there.

3. Watch last year’s Daytona 500 with a person who didn’t watch it last year, betting money on who will win, when cautions will come out, etc., and relaying events that had not happened yet and talking about people who were still alive then, maybe watching the race.

4. Entertain self with episodes of “Bob’s Burgers” and “American Dad”.

5. Sing karaoke songs. Any songs related to racing are very welcome.

6. Shoot hoops.

7. Play a game of Twister.

8. Watch the “circus act” on the track as jet dryers and workers try to dry the surface, sometimes using squeegees and boxes of Tide to the tune of “Car Wash”.

9. Figure out that from Neil Armstrong’s name, Neil A spelled backwards is A lien (Alien). So the joke is “did they send him to the moon or did they send him BACK to the moon?”. You could also get “Strong Mr. Alien” out of that. Again, it’s all a conspiracy. NASA didn’t really send anyone to that rock in the sky. It was staged. Neil Armstrong is a geniusly made up name that could have double meanings.

I’m only joking of course. I’m a realist. I don’t believe in conspiracies, hoaxes, and other crap passed around the Internet by people with no life. Paul McCartney is alive and well.

10. Thinking “when are they going to get this damn race started again?” and “They didn’t have to introduce all 43 drivers to us with a cheesy ceremony like that”.

11. Catch up on your favorite TV shows on Netflix (The Walking Dead, everyone!).

12. Reminisce about the first 38 laps of the race, watching it all over again if you have to.