Last night it was just about 2 am when I got to the blog. Tonight...1:37 am...so somewhere I've cut off a few minutes!
It was a great day on the tour. My schedule started with a visit from the Earnhardt Ganassi race team. Car owner Chip Ganassi told the room full of reporters, rather bluntly, that last year was "pathetic." His two cars finished 21st and 27th in the chase. For that shop, that's far below expectations.
Ganassi's two drivers are Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray. Have now interviewed McMurray several times now and my opinion of him never seems to change. Comes across as a super nice guy. He recently became a dad, so congrats to him on fatherhood.
It was a rather quick visit for me, as I needed to get to the track to cut some standups. Did that, finished up my piece for today's 6, and then it was on the bus, back to the track, for a visit with Roush Fenway Racing and a bunch of guys from Ford Motor Company.
Roush was a good visit, bad visit. Trevor Bayne was there. So it's always cool to catch up with a guy that I first interviewed when he was 14...that was done in the Central High School library. Now he's a Daytona 500 winner. Down to earth, classy, humble, well-mannered, a 500 winner, yet Bayne enters 2012 without a full time sponsor for his Nationwide car. I just can't believe that someone hasn't latched onto this kid.
Bayne also said he's heading out of the continent for the first time in his life. On Thursday, he's Africa bound, more specifically Kenya, for a mission trip. Again, how has a sponsor not gobbled up this guy???
The bad part of the visit. No Carl Edwards. No Matt Kenseth. As another reporter said: That's like going to the Heat and Lebron and Wade not being there.
Was hoping to catch up with last year's runner-up, but I suppose that will have to be put on hold. Following lunch and interviews with the guys at Roush, it was off to the Nationwide garage at the track for Ford Racing day. Ford folks showed off the new Fusion. Let me tell you, when it comes to the cars, there never seems to be a more prouder company. On this tour, you're not gonna find a session devoted to Chevy, or Toyota, or Dodge. But it seems every year, the Ford guys are bouncing around, eager to tell you what's new and cool in the Ford future.
Around 3:45 we bus back to the hotel, do some editing for the 6 and 11 and get those pieces sent back. After dinner, Kurt Busch made his way to the hotel for some casual interviews. Needless to say, Busch answered more than one question about his behavior, and what he's doing to change his image.
After Busch, it was more editing..and now here I am. Chris (see Monday's blog) is sawing logs Paul Bunyan couldn't cut thru...and I just can't put up with that anymore, so time to sign off, and get to the other side of the room where my bed is at...and shut the door.
It's another early morning and Wednesday is a big day as we'll be visiting with both Hendrick Motorsports and RCR.