Month: March 2012

“In the Red”, by Jade Gurss, A Must Read for any NASCAR Fan

A book review by Adam Lovelace, stay tuned to for an interview with Jade Gurss.

Jade Gurss is the owner of fingerprint, inc, a sports publicity company. Jade provided publicity and media relations for Anheuser-Busch and their sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s number 8 Budweiser NASCAR team from 1999 through the 2007 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and is the author of “In the Red”. “In the Red” follows Dale Earnhardt Jr. throughout the 2001 Daytona 500, a race in which his father would lose his life on the last turn of the last lap of the race, and the rest of the 2001 season.

“In the Red” begins with Jade Gurss telling the reader about Dale Jr.’s appearance at the 2001 Winston Cup Preview (Winston being the title sponsor of the series at that time) in which Jr. tells of a dream he had about winning the Daytona 500. Dale Jr. is asked about where his father is in the dream and the answer gave me goosebumps then and gives me goosebumps to this day every time I hear the story.

JadeGurssThe 2001 season saw Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. team up for the the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona just weeks before the Daytona 500. Father and son finished 2nd in their class and 4th overall. Jade takes us through the Rolex and gives the reader insight into the relationship between Earnhardt and Dale Jr. in a way that most fans never get to see from the usually private Earnhardt family. “In the Red” takes you behind the scenes of the Earnhardt family and the tragedy they went through in 2001.

From the 2001 preview, to the Rolex, to the Daytona 500, to the dark weeks that followed, “In the Red” will take you on a week to week, up and down, roller coaster ride of emotions through the entire 2001 season. Whether you are an Earnhardt fan or not, whether you are even a race fan or not, “In the Red” is a very compelling read and a must for any racing fan.

Jade Gurss is also author of “Driver #8” which chronicled Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s rookie season, as well as co-author of “DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles”

Follow Jade Gurss:
@JadeGurss, @InTheRed2001 on Twitter
“In the Red” on Facebook
fingerprint, inc

Follow Adam Lovelace:
@aclovelace on Twitter

Preview: The Rutledge Wood Interview

I had a chance to spend some time with Rutledge Wood this morning at Phoenix International Raceway.  NASCAR fans already know Rutledge from Speed TV – and now the rest of America is getting to discover Rut through “Top Gear” on the History Channel.

Rutledge and I talked about the difference in Top Gear fans and NASCAR fans – he shared how illegal videos uploaded to YouTube helped his score the job on TG – I ask him about his fashionable line of new Tshirts and sooo much more!

You will have to listen to the Out of the Tunnel Podcast coming up this week to hear the entire 18 minute interview…. but in the meantime – here’s a preview.

Click play to listen:

The Young and the Techless – F1 Vol. 1 Preview

In an effort to apprise ya’ll readers of the off-track action from around the world, I bring you my new weekly column: The Young and the Techless.  With just about every racing series worldwide moving to ever more restrictive regulations in an effort to make racing more competitive, I figured the title would be fitting (1. And you folks are car people… 2. Yes, I did jack the title idea from Ross, but he approved!)

FIA Formula One World Championship – Rules Changes and Off-Season Testing Update

Certainly the biggest story this F1 off-season has been the rule change the FIA enacted to lower the cars’ noses to make them safer in a nose-to-side impact.  The trend since the early 2000s has been to continuously raise the height of the cars’ noses to aid in under-car airflow.  This trend necessitated massive compromises in suspension geometry (lending us to the suspension arms having more anhedral than a Harrier – good God I’m a nerd…) and also necessitated nose-cones being almost at level with the top of the monocoque (and hence the drivers’ heads).

Under pressure from the designers, the FIA kept the rule for height of the monocoque at 625mm but mandated that maximum nose height not exceed 550mm causing most teams to design a horrid step in the nose:


Thankfully, Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes have gone with a gently curving nose, which is far more aesthetically pleasing:


The pre-season testing has been rather uneventful, save for two major storylines:

Lotus-Renault F1 Team had to pull out of the second testing session at Barcelona because of defective front suspension mounts.  They discovered at the first test in Jerez (with chassis 1)that the car’s handling wasn’t responding as expected, then with the higher loads of Barcelona’s corners the front suspension on chassis 2 failed.  They immediately pulled out of the test and went back to their factory at Enstone, England and set about a redesign to rectify the problem.

Another bombshell (read: sarcasm): The token backmarker-reject team HRT (Hispania Racing) had its new 2012 chassis pass 17 out of 18 FIA crash tests, thereby failing homologation and not being allowed to attend the first two tests.  Just last week the HRT finally passed the 18th crash test and was homologated.  HRT hope to debut their new crapwagon car this Sunday.

Testing times amongst the other teams have been just as sporadic as they always are in testing (small teams running on low-fuel just to post fast times to attract sponsorship money).  General consensus is that Reb Bull Racing will still be the team to beat (read: another Vettle championship), but many pundits are saying McLaren’s “radical” non-stepped nose car might pose a challenge to Reb Bull at the hands of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Stay tuned later today for TYatT V8 Edition, and also a look at the new World Endurance Championship.