Miscellaneous stuff—just to update the blog!

Sadly, it has been a long time since this space was updated.  So, rather than focus on just one topic, this blog will ramble aimlessly…

  • I had a great time at the Sunoco Race of Champions at Oswego this past Friday night.  Dave “da dude” Buchanan and I teamed up to announce the races (thanks to Andy Harpell for the privilege of calling the races).  The SST feature was fabulous:  congrats goes out to T.J. Potrzebowski for the sweep of both the SST and Modified features!  That’s just awesome!  (Unfortunately, I had a schedule conflict which prevented me being there on Saturday as well.  The same thing will happen for the U.S. Open next week…conflict Saturday but I’ll be there Sunday). 
  • Following the races on Friday, the second annual raceny.com party was held at Lighthouse Lanes just down from the track at the bottom of the hill.  It was great to put faces to the names who regularly participate on the website!  Nice job to Sherry Whaley (modlover) who organized the event!
  • Speaking of the Sunoco Race of Champions Pavement Series, there are two individuals whose tireless dedication to the sport needs to be recognized.  I have had the privilege of knowing Don & Marilyn Toal since I announced at Spencer Speedway between the years 1988 and 1992.  Way before I met them, these two wonderful people made it their choice to solicit contributions for the ROC lap leaders.  This year alone, the amount raised was over $22,500 but that’s not all. There is an estimate floating around that suggests that the total amount of money raised for the ROC drivers by Marilyn and Don Toal over the years exceeds $275,000!  In the past few years, that hasn’t been easy-Marilyn had health issues which forced her to spend time in a wheelchair.  But that limitation didn’t slow her down-with husband Don pushing the wheelchair around the racetracks, the money was still raised.  The ROC pace car this year at Oswego had a tribute decal on the trunk in gratitude for the contributions these two have made to the event over the years.  Now is the time for someone to come forward and start working side-by-side with this couple over the next few seasons so the “baton can be passed”.  If you are a driver or a fan of modified racing in the Northeast, please find the time and opportunity to meet these wonderful folks and express your gratitude to them for their astounding efforts!
  • In NASCAR, The “Chase for the Nextel Cup” will come down to Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick–with RCR getting another title.  If that happens, Kevin will be the first driver in NASCAR history to get both a Cup and Busch Series title in the same year!  Mark it down:  Richard Childress Racing is back and better than they’ve ever been in their history.  Yes, that’s right, better than even the days when the late Dale Earnhardt raced for them.  They have 2 cars (Harvick and Jeff Burton) in the Chase with both of them running very well (and although Clint Bowyer isn’t in the Chase, his car has been running well, too!) There are other great storylines in the final 10 races-Mark Martin FINALLY getting that elusive title; Denny Hamlin would be the first rookie EVER to win a Cup title; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. joining his father as a Cup champion; Kasey Kahne getting the title as the only Dodge competitor in the Chase.
  • One of the great (and sometimes not-so-great) things about announcing around the country is the opportunity to travel to new places.  My schedule at the end of August had me going to Infineon Raceway in California for the first time ever for the inaugural Grand Am sports car race at that facility.  That meant I had to fly into San Francisco, pick up the rental car and drive north to the track-over the Golden Gate bridge.  It was also my first time in that part of the country and the scenery was great!  However, I must also say that the Napa wine valley has NOTHING over our great Finger Lakes wine region for natural beauty-especially in the fall!
  • Local racing has been hit hard this year by Mother Nature.  Rains here in the Northeast have severely limited track schedules and put track operators in precarious financial situations.  It’s hard to believe that some competitors and others would take “pot shots” at the individuals who need to run their facilities as businesses, not weekend hobby/club outlets.  Look, I know that track owners/promoters are not perfect and there are some whose questionable business practices in past years have made it tough for the sport in general.  And I also know it’s been very tough financially on the racers (some have cut back drastically in their programs, others have sat out completely this year).  But this is not the time for anyone to kick people when they’re down.  Even though gas prices are falling at the time of this update, they certainly have caused both promoters and racers to take a different outlook on their participation in the sport this year.  In talking with the promoters of local tracks I know or work for, business has been bad this year.  The sport CANNOT afford to lose any more local tracks.  Racers, you need a place to race and it would be better to try to work together with the track owner/promoter rather than using the “lynch mob” mentality I’ve seen on several local racing websites.  Remember, too, that decisions have to be made on ALL classes racing at the facility, not just the one you race.
  • Finally, for those who have asked in emails and on other sites, I thought I would take the time to explain where I work.  I am a living a dream-just a very fortunate individual who has the rare privilege of loving what he does for a living.  I handle track announcer duties for 6 NASCAR tracks:  Watkins Glen International, Daytona International Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and California Speedway.  In total, I get to announce for 10 races on the NASCAR Cup schedule plus their opening test sessions at Daytona.  In addition, I am the webcast announcer for Grand American Road Racing Association which adds another 10 or so sports car races to my yearly schedule.  I try to fit in as much local track stuff as I can-Wednesday night, I run the Compulink drag racing timing system at New York International Raceway Park and fill in at other races on their schedule;  I am a fill-in announcer for Holland Speedway when time permits;  Lancaster Raceway Park also uses me to fill-in whenever my and their schedule snyc up; I have announced the Sunoco ROC at Oswego the last 2 years and have done the Hemmings “Musclepalooza” at Lebanon Valley Dragway the last 3 years.  Please understand, I’m not bragging here but I am very proud of what I have done since I committed to doing this as a profession rather than a weekend hobby.  I never thought that I would be able to pay the bills JUST by doing what I love (I reached a mutual agreement with the radio station I used to work mornings-WDKX–just 2 years ago to leave a regular job that I had there for 17 years!)  It’s not a lavish lifestyle by any means but it is paying the bills—so far, anyway!  So if I seem to be boasting, please just understand that I love what I do and take it very seriously!  (As seriously as one can by having fun!)

That’s it for now…till next time!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

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King Design strikes again! New logo design for raceannouncerblog!

 Once again, Jeff from King Design has created a new logo design, this time for me!  Huge thanks to Jeff for another winning design!  If you are in need of logo design, website hosting/design/creation/management, look no further than King Design!!!

(Graphic design courtesy of

Jeff @ King Design:  http://www.thatisking.com/

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

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In Memory…Dick Ransom

Godspeed, my friend!

Dick Ransom, 1953-2006

     (aka Oswegofan53)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Graphic design courtesy of

Jeff King:  http://www.thatisking.com/)

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

 

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Buschwhacking–my opinion!

 

It’s probably the most debated topic that NASCAR fans kick around these days and nearly everyone has an opinion about it: “BUSCHWHACKING”–the current trend of many NASCAR Nextel Cup competitors running the NASCAR Busch Series. So, some believe that NASCAR has to come up with a way to somehow “limit” Nextel Cup drivers from competing in the Busch Series.

Until now, I had decided to stay in a neutral corner on this one but I have heard too many people speak on this subject who spew false information, have a particular axe to grind and are, in my opinion, just plain wrong. So here goes (and by the way, again, it is just my opinion!)

First, NASCAR has a double-edged sword problem with the Busch Series, now in it’s 25th season: the influx of Nextel Cup Series drivers and teams entering the Busch Series has:

a.) afforded the Nextel Cup teams and drivers an “extra” day of track time to gather information which is very useful in helping with the setup of Nextel Cup cars. This has become much more of an issue in 2006 since the testing schedule has been reduced.

b.) “pushed out” several regular (and much smaller) Busch teams altogether.

c.) makes it much tougher for the regular Busch teams to finish well and earn points, thus making it tougher for these teams to find and keep sponsors.

d.) the money earned in a Busch Series race by the Nextel Cup regular drivers and teams, while not anywhere near as much as in the Nextel Cup Series, is again being denied to “regular” Busch competitors and therby reduces the number of “regular” Busch teams.

e.) made track promoters (and NASCAR) smile because sales of Busch Series race tickets are much better when more Nextel Cup drivers enter and race.

f.) made TV ratings for the Busch Series races jump up, mainly because the Nextel Cup drivers are competing in the races.

From my point of view, the Busch Series’ biggest problem right now is its “identity” or purpose.  Exactly what does NASCAR have in mind as the reasons why the Busch Series exists the way it does in 2006?

Now, there are many fans who believe the time-honored purpose for the Busch series is the biggest reason it exists: to serve as a “minor league” system for up-and-coming drivers to get much-needed “seat time” or experience to properly prepare themselves for the Nextel Cup Series. Certainly, that is an accurate assessment, although its importance in preparing drivers for the “big time” has dwindled somewhat given the fact that the “newer” talent has come from other forms of racing.

But the Busch Series has grown and taken on a life of its own as more of a “secondary” opportunity for fans to see their favorite NASCAR drivers. Some of the fans who are complaining the loudest about the “problem” are the very same ones plunking down money to see these drivers race in the Busch Series–a fact not lost on either NASCAR or its track operators.

It is interesting to me that this “problem” seems to crop up mostly when NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers are winning most of the races, which obviously has happened this year as no Busch Series “regular” has yet seen Victory Lane. Interestingly, most of the complaining seems to be done by a vocal minority of fans, a majority of whom seem to be younger and newer to the sport. I have not heard or read much of any complaining from Busch Series teams and drivers–most of them welcome the opportunity to compare themselves to the best (and have a chance to beat them).

Then I’ve heard the comparison made between NASCAR racing and other sports with statements that go something like this: “You would never see an NFL player come back to play football for a college or indoor league team”. It is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard–and why?  Get this through your head: the sport of auto racing, especially NASCAR, is UNIQUE and comparisons to other sports don’t apply–it’s as simple as that!

First and foremost, the Busch Series races are just that–RACES! Whether you’re a regular driver in the Nextel Cup Series or not, you have to have a team owner who foots the bills (hopefully with a good sponsor), you need a team with a good crew chief and pit crew members, you have to have cars built that must make it through tech, then you have to qualify for the races, you have to avoid trouble during the race and if you’re lucky, you have the chance to win the race.

Do Nextel Cup teams and drivers have an advantage here? Yes, but not simply because they’re Nextel Cup drivers. The biggest reason Nextel Cup drivers and teams are so succesful in the Busch Series right now boils down to this: the Busch Series has become a very valuable tool to improve the performance of Nextel Cup drivers, teams and machines. That’s because the Busch Series cars are too close in design to their Nextel Cup counterparts and the Busch Series race schedule has too many dates in common with the Nextel Cup schedule. Thus, the Busch race has become far more valuable than a test session to Nextel Cup teams because information is gained under actual race conditions at the very same track they race on the very next day. Make no mistake about it: these teams are very good at what they do, they seem to have no problem getting sponsors that more than adequately funds their Busch Series efforts and,well, OK, the drivers are very good, too!.

The bottom line is this: There is no need to limit Nextel Cup drivers from competing in the Busch Series. That would open up a true “Pandora’s Box” and create way more problems than it solves. If NASCAR truly believed that the Busch Series would be better off without as much participation from Nextel Cup teams and drivers, they would have to find a way to make the Busch Series less attractive to them. How? Make the Busch cars so different in design that very little information gained by racing one can be applied to a Nextel Cup car. Secondly, change the schedule so that it becomes harder on the Nextel Cup drivers to travel back and forth between the Busch race and the Cup race. In other words, don’t run the Busch Series races on the same weekend and at the same tracks as Nextel Cup races.  Yeah, I know, there’s not much of a chance of either of these happening right now!

One more thing: if you don’t agree with me on this, it’s ok. But answer me this: why don’t Nextel Cup drivers regularly race in any other series? For instance, it’s very rare to see them compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Mark Martin is there this year along with a bunch of former Cup competitors but not current Nextel Cup drivers). Here again, the race machines are different and not as many Craftsman Truck races are held on the same weekend as Cup races. But the series I would point to as my main example is ARCA. You don’t see ANY Nextel Cup drivers there–PERIOD! Why? I mean, the cars sure are similar(heck, most of them are former Nextel Cup machines). But there ARE differences, such as the tires. Racing on Hoosier tires would give zero information for a Nextel car setup on Goodyears. But the main reason why you don’t see Nextel Cup drivers in ARCA is the scheduling–ARCA’s schedule very rarely has them racing at the same tracks on the same weekend as the Nextel Cup. Thus, it’s not as attractive to Nextel Cup teams and drivers.

In other words, “…build it (differently) and they WON’T come…”  (See, I told you racing can’t be compared to any other sport!)

It really is just that simple! But don’t count on it happening (remember points “e” and “f” above)!

Sorry for being so long-winded!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

 

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NASCAR: Change(s) Gonna Come!

Changes are never easy for humans to accept.  Whether it’s because of the “fear of the unknown” aspect of change or messin’ with someone’s comfort level, not many people like “change”. 

2007 & 2008 (and perhaps, even this year) will be historical milestone years for NASCAR.  Not just one change will occur but several in a short span of time.  ALL of them will have far-reaching effects on the sport, both for competitors and spectators alike.  In fact, some believe these changes have the potential to grow the sport beyond where it is now and others feel like it may be the downfall of stock car racing as we know it.  Regardless of where your opinion lies, here are the big changes so far: 

Sunoco 260 GTX (unleaded racing fuel)

 Although American cars have been required by the federal government to run on unleaded fuel since 1974, both the aviation industry and motorsports applied for and received exemptions from the law.  With NASCAR’s recent meteoric rise in popluarity, vocal critics of the santioning body have turned up the volume regarding the use of lead based fuel for racing.  NASCAR has been working with Sunoco, its racing fuel supplier, for the last couple of years in developing unleaded racing fuel for its 3 pro divisions (Nextel Cup, Busch & Craftsman Truck).  The announcement was recently made that the changeover will occur in 2008, just two seasons away.  It should be mentioned here that NASCAR’s road-racing affiliation, Grand American Road Racing Association, is also supplied by Sunoco and has, in fact, already been using the unleaded fuel in its series.  Also, some regional series (SK Light modifieds, for example) are also using the fuel.  Although no reports of any health problems by members of race teams have yet surfaced, most believe this is a good change.

 

COT (“Car of Tomorrow”)

Five years ago, the sport lost its biggest star when Dale Earnhardt was fatally injured on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.  Critics of the sport were harsh when it came to grading NASCAR on the safety aspects of racing.  At the time, most agreed that “not enough” was being done by the sanctioning body to improve safety in the sport.  Since then, NASCAR has created an entire facility dedicated to improving safety.  It has also required its tracks to install “SAFER” barriers, so-called “soft wall” technology that has proven its worth time and time again since being mandated.  Another product of NASCAR’s “R&D” facility is the COT (“Car of Tomorrow”), announced recently by the sanctioning body as being phased in starting with the 2007 season.  Today’s NASCAR stock car interiors have become quite crowded for the driver.  New roll cage rules, newer seats and other requirements have provided a safety cocoon for the driver.  However, it’s become much tougher for a driver to get out of the car quickly, especially if a car catches fire.  Plus, NASCAR wants to try to contain costs for team owners.  The result is a new-from-the-ground-up race car, the “Car of Tomorrow”.  The side window openings are taller and wider than current stock cars.  Also, the driver location has been moved inward slightly to better protect the driver in a heavy side impact.  Both of these changes promote a safer race car.  Since this car was all-new, NASCAR was able to better mandate locations on the inside structure for engine mounting, suspension mounting, body location, etc.  The goal was to allow the building of a race car that, with a few minor changes, can be raced at all or at least a majority of the tracks, rather than the specialized machines we have today (such as short track cars, road course cars, downforce cars, superspeedway cars, etc.).  Knowing full well that requiring this car for 2007 for all tracks would be prohibitively expensive for all teams, NASCAR will phase the car in.  In 2007, it will be run at the short tracks and road courses, in 2008 it will be required at tracks 2 miles and longer (Daytona, Talladega, Pocono, Michigan, etc.) and then the “cookie cutter” 1.5 mile traacks in 2009.  Once a team has built their “fleet”, the total number of cars needed to compete should go way down from what is presently built, thereby shaving costs.

Of course, there are many negative comments already floating around by both teams and fans alike.  Teams aren’t yet convinced it’s the right way to go and fans are bemoaning what they see as the “spec” nature of the beast.  Most of the opposition to the “look” of the car has been that some feel it will be even more difficult to “tell the difference” between makes of cars competing in the series.  The interesting part is that the final design has not yet been settled upon, although most believe it won’t look that much different than the one pictured above that has been tested recently at Daytona.  Chemung’s Brett Bodine, now working in NASCAR R&D and who also has been test driving the car, said recently at Daytona that the new design will actually give the manufacturers “more freedom” to make sure the cars will look different from one another.

 

Toyota Camry: ’07 Nextel Cup Series/Busch Series LEGAL!

courtesy Toyota Motorsports 2006

The future is now:  what some people had been hoping for (and others had hoped would NEVER happen) WILL occur next season.  NASCAR announced that Toyota will be allowed to race its Camry-based stock car in the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series starting in 2007.  This is just the next logical step for the manufacturer that started participating in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series just over two years ago and has seen some success in that series.  The addition of Toyota is seen by most close to the sport as a good thing.  They point to the fact that there will be another manufacturer in the mix, more promotional opportunities for the sport, the springboard to become more world-wide, etc.  All these and more are seen by NASCAR officials as a boost, not a detriment.  

There are those who disagree, however.  Mostly, it’s long time fans who fear that their ”American” sport has forever been ruined by the addition of a foreign manufacturer.  NASCAR has taken financial advantage of the “patriotism” of these fans in the past and is taking the gamble of alienating their fan base by this decision, according to some.  Others point to this decision as further proof that the term ”stock” has long been gone from the term “stock car” as it applies to the machines that race in NASCAR.

 

Regardless of where you stand on any of these upcoming changes, they ARE coming, starting next year.  Already, some of the changes are being planned and worked on to begin the phase-in for 2007–and beyond.

One thing is certain:  these changes will forever change, for better or worse, the face of the sport we know now.  On that, there can be no debate!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

 

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Just Pazzin’ Thru…Have You Ever Wondered Why…

In our wonderful world of motorsports, have you ever wondered why…

  • …in the U.S., most stock car tracks are run in a counter-clockwise direction while the road courses mostly run clockwise?
  • …at local tracks where there is both an oval and a drag strip, the competitors mix like water and oil?  Very few of them attend each other’s events or even want to talk to each other?

 

  • …most drag racing sanctioning bodies and/or tracks require “tech” BEFORE a car actually races while stock car organizations wait until after the races are finished?

 

  • …some people prefer only one form of motorsports?  Aren’t the same basic principles in place for all forms of racing (noise, speed, competiton, awesome race machines, etc.)?

 

  • …no one has ever really knocked down the reason why a “checkered” flag is used to signal the end of most races?  There are several theories but none has ever been proven?

 

  • …people who buy property in close proximity to a racing facility have the audacity to complain later about the “excessive noise” and “dirt”?

 

  • …the off-season becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of rumors, 99% of which never come true?
  • …when drivers say “I’m never gonna race here again!”, “never” always lasts about 2 weeks–or less!
  • …racing fans have the guts to complain about “little things” in the coverage motorsports gets?  Not so long ago, race fans had to wait a couple of weeks AFTER an event before they could watch it on TV! 
  • …local radio stations and newpapers very rarely have any motorsports coverage?

 

  • …baseball and football stadiums receive most of their funding from local and state governments but motorsports facilities are privately funded and have to fight for even a tax break?

 

  • …most restroom facilities at motorsports venues (especially local ones) are so disgusting? 

 

  • …most people can tell you who finished 4th at the INDY 500 this year but can’t tell you who placed 2nd and 3rd, let alone tell you who won the race?

 

  • …drivers and crew chiefs deny any first-hand knowledge of any ”illegal parts” in their racing machines?  The usual shrug of the shoulders that accompanies “I don’t know” makes them appear either stupid or naive!

 

  • …a lot of race fans and competitors think they know what’s wrong with the operation of a race track without having any direct past experience of running one?

 

  • …most local stock car tracks still have ’70′s era Chevelles and Camaros running in their various divisions?

 

  • …a lot of so-called race fans express displeasure for anything that runs with a 4 cylinder engine–or worse still, a two-cycle motorcycle/snowmobile engine–in a race car?

 

  • …too many local tracks “skimp” on their rescue/emergency crews and equipment?

 

  • …there remains only 3 quarter-mile dragstrips in New York State (NYIRP, ESTA, and Lebanon Valley)?

 

  • …race drivers spend tons of money on their racing machines, then complain that the cost of racing is too high?

 

  • …some drag racers never complain when they win a round by a minuscule margin but when they LOSE by a similar amount, something “…must be wrong with the timing system…”?

 

  • …so many people, other drivers and fans alike, believe a driver is always cheating when they win? Especially if a driver wins a LOT? 

 

  • …we have so many great drivers, engine builders, crew chiefs, etc. in this part of the country?

 

  • …you started reading this thing in the first place? (grin!)

That’s it for now!  Happy New Year and a very prosperous and successful 2006!

 

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

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Just Pazzin’ Thru…Christmas Eve update

 

 

06noelwreathpaz

Those of you who are regular readers of this space are very familiar with my friend Dick Ransom.  Dick has been diagnosed with cancer of the lungs with some invasion in his back.  He has been undergoing intensive chemo and radiation therapy.  Certainly, it is not the rosiest of times for Dick, his wife and family.  However, if you check out the raceNY site, www.raceny.com, you can read a progress report from the man himself.  The short of it:  Mr. Ransom has made progress, according to his doctors–the tumors have shrunk since the initial treatments began.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, my take on this is that is nothing short of miraculous.  If nothing else, it has further strengthened my beliefs that positive thinking by both patient and friends and family produce positive results!  So Merry Christmas, Dick Ransom, and also to everyone else that takes the time to read this space!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

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Just Pazzin’ Thru…Racing Christmas Wish List

Just Pazzin’ Thru…My wish list for this Christmas Holiday Season for local, regional & national race personalities:

 06noelwreathpaz

For Dick Ransom:  a speedy and complete recovery (completely cured)!  UPDATE: see Christmas Eve post above

For all NY race (of any kind) track operators (especially Bob & Donna Metcalfe, The Bennetts, The Friessens, Jim & Marla Reid, Howie Commander, The Spencers, Pat Furlong/Steve Gioia, Dean Hoag and anyone else I missed:  as close as possible to a rain free 2006 season!

For Troyer Engineering:  a brand, new sparkling facility to grow their business better and stronger than the burned-out one!

For any racer who has not yet tasted that first victory:  a win in 2006!

For all sponsors of any kind of racing anywhere:  a banner year in 2006 so you will keep supporting our sport!

For Dave Da Dude:  Much continued success in your endeavors towards professional announcing!  You’re on your way!

For fellow WGI announcer Greg Emelski:  Continued good health and a shedule for you at the Glen!

For Sean O’Neill:  That long-promised Bud in 2006!

For Ted Christopher:  a great run and a podium finish in the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona!

For DJ Raiser:  another great SS win and a date for your charity race that I can make!

For Dan Fletcher:  A Double championship in NHRA Stock & Super Stock!

For Jim Sickles & Tom Anderson:  A way to reverse your decision not to race in 2006 and come back to win a Championship!

For Martin Truex Jr.:  Success in Nextel Cup similar to what you’ve enjoyed in the Busch Series for the last 2 years!

For Dale Earnhardt, Jr.:  A spot in the 2006 Nextel Chase for the Cup!

For Ricky Craven:  a competitive ride in the Nextel Cup Series!

For Ken Schrader, now with the Wood Brothers:  the return of both of you to Victory Lane!

For Erin Crocker:  A way to steer clear of other’s people’s wrecks so that you can show what you can do!

For Danica Patrick:  That elusive first win!  PLEASE!

For Tony Stewart:  How ’bout Cup Championship #3?

For Denny Hamlin:  Continuing on the roll you had in late 2005!

For Reed Sorensen:  Your first Nextel Cup Win in 2006!

For Casey Mears:  enough consistency to take you to the Chase!

For everyone that reads this blog segment:  A very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous and better 2006!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

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Just Pazzin’ Thru…NASCAR Statistical Services Year End Book

NASCAR Statistical Services Year-End book

Whenever I announce NASCAR races around the country, I am indebted to the fine folks at NASCAR Statistical Services.  Len Thacher directs the NASCAR Statistical Services staff for the entire racing season.  In addition to sending emails to legitimate media outlets previewing each race, they also send out post-race updates and other pertinent information which makes my job much easier.  Also, I know I can go up to either Len or Michael Payne at the races and ask any question and get the right answer. 

They are putting together a stats book of the past 2005 NASCAR racing season and I thought I would provide the info here for anyone who writes, broadcasts or talks about NASCAR in any capacity.  It’s well worth whatever their asking price is!  Tell ‘em where you saw it!!!

Here’s a copy-and-paste of the info…

 

“JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM”

 

 

      Produced by NASCAR Statistical Services, the “NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Weekly Media Updates” – is the primary source of information for television, radio and print media providing week-to-week coverage of America’s fastest-growing spectator sport. This is the ultimate in statistical information on NASCAR’s premier series. Now you can have access to the same information the pros use. A Statistical Review of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Season” is the season-long cumulative of statistics on the 2005 season and compilation of the most pertinent information contained in the weekly updates. Whether used to track your favorite driver, manage your fantasy league racing entry or simply to ‘settle a bar room bet’, this book will provide invaluable information. If it was relevant to the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season it is in this book. Season records and statistics, comprehensive race reviews, driver biographies, historical data and complete race-by-race official NASCAR Race Reports –all are in the more than 300 pages of A Statistical Review of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Season.”

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what they are saying…

Bill Weber  (NBC Sports) - “When I look it up so you don’t have to – this is where I look it up!”

 

 

Larry McReynolds (Championship Crew Chief / FOX Sports/Speed TV) – “ It’s my racing bible every week…and saves me hours of work in broadcast preparation.”

 

 

Jeff Hammond  (Championship Crew Chief / FOX Sports/Speed TV) – “It’s the only way I can keep the facts straight for “DW” – and I don’t have to look it up for him because the Stats Group already did!”

 

 

 

Order your copy now – A great gift – ANYTIME!

 

 

 

 

 

Send $29.95 (includes shipping and handling) to:

NASCAR Statistical Services

PO Box 1224

Dumfries, VA 22026

Or Use you credit card by calling:

1-888-STATSBK (Monday-Friday between 10AM and 3PM)

 

 

 

So order yours today!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

 

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A friend of mine needs your prayers…

It is never good news whenever you hear about a friend who has health problems.  Such is the case with Dick Ransom, a great fan of local racing here in Western New York.  He is especially supportive of Oswego Speedway and its entire racing program. 

As previously blogged in this space earlier this year, it was Dick who strongly suggested that I make a return trip back up to Oswego Speedway this year when I met him for lunch.  We talked nothing but racing for over 2 1/2 hours!  After that conversation, I decided to attend the Budweiser Classic Labor Day weekend at the track.  Dick spoke with the Oswego Speedway staff and set up credentials for me that weekend!  I had a great time and met quite a few people in the process.  By visiting the track, it also set up an opportunity to announce there for Andy Harpell during his Sunoco Race of Champions pavement series race weekend a few weeks later.  No one was more surprised and happy for me than Dick Ransom!  That announcing gig allowed me to talk again with track owner Pat Furlong Sr. and I was able to advise him about replacing the track wireless microphone.  None of this would have happened without Dick’s enthusiasm and encouragement!

As a gesture of appreciation, I set Dick up with guest credentials for the IRL race at Watkins Glen International just a few weeks later at the end of September.  He was like a kid in a candy store just being there!  He also knows ESPN’s Marlo Klain through some friends and family and was delighted to finally catch up with her at the Glen media center.  I’m glad I was able to get this shot of him with her…

Now I have found out by reading the Race NY website (http://www.raceny.com/discus/) that my friend is suffering from some serious health problems.   On that internet board, he is known as “Oswegofan53″.  As I sit here typing this blog segment, I’m feeling pretty helpless and numb.  I really want to call him as I do have his phone number but I have decided it would be inappropriate at this time.  I have been in contact with another person who will be speaking with him soon and hopefully, I will get to sit down and talk with my friend again.

If you have ever had a friend or family member who was suddenly stricken with some serious health issue, you pretty much know how I feel right now.  With that in mind, I’m asking that if you are reading this, whether you are a race fan or not, please remember Dick Ransom in your prayers.  I don’t care what religion you are;  just pray for him that he gets through this situation and comes back 100%! 

For me, at this moment, there doesn’t seem to be too many important things in the world right now…

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer

 

  

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