The Charlotte in-care field centers

What’s better than a double-header? A double-header schmak.

What’s better than that? This weeks triple-header schmak.

Check ’em off:

  • Monaco – schmaked
  • Indy – schmaked
  • Coke 600 – extra schmaked

Drivers to watch next week:

Carl Edwards
Jeff Gordon
Denny Hamlin
Jimmie Johnson
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth

…and perhaps

Brad Keselowski

Our picks:

Coach: Carl Edwards
Rob: Jeff Gordon

Pit Road map for the Coke 600

Looking at the pit road map for the Coke 600 tomorrow, I noticed a little bit of an unusual pattern in pit selection.

Below is a modified pit road selection chart:

Coke600Pit 2013

The first 4 qualifiers are marked with a red number signifying their qualifying position. No real surprise there – the pole sitter Denny Hamlin took the #1 pit stall. 2nd place took the first pit stall that had an opening in front (for better pit exit), and so did the 3rd place qualifier, and the 4th place.

Then, 5th – 7th picked pit stalls that had an opening behind (for better pit entry).

But what surprised me a little was the fact that the 9-13th place drivers all picked pits near the back of pit road. Not until you get to 14th, 15th, and 16th picks do you see cars in the front of pit road.

Finally – used to be that the top 20 cars generally occupied stalls at the front of the pit road, and the slower (expected to be a lap down) cars took the back. However, in this map, it seems like there are “slower” cars almost every other pit stall from front to back of pit road (32 car in 6th position, 35 in 8th, 13 in 10th, etc…).

Interesting…

Raceview – price now reduced! Still not buying it.

My thoughts on NASCAR’s “screens other than a TV must all cost different amounts” policy can be found here.

Today’s follow up concerns the price of the Raceview PC version, which NASCAR is advertising as a “reduced price” from the original $79.95 to $44.95 for the season. Looks like they’re not getting the subscribers they want.

Here’s what you (NASCAR) need to do:

  • Unify raceview & nascar mobile (I still don’t know what the difference is except for the computer generated track in raceview).
  • Set one price for access to all the versions (PC version, iPhone version, Android version, iPad version, etc…).
  • Set a simple monthly subscription price (like $5 – $10), or just charge $40 or $50 for the year, or do both (maybe only allow the full year purchase in the first month of the season).

But, judging from the amorphous bag of poop that is the NASCAR.com website, I highly doubt they have the technical chops to pull this one off.

Grumble.

All-Star Schmak Showdown Schmegegge

We schmak the showdown, the All-star race, and posit some opinions about how to improve this next year (hint – it’s not switching venues to Las Vegas).

Picks for the 600:

Coach: Kasey Kahne (again)

Rob: Jimmie Johnson

Top-5 Follow up

As suggested in a comment on the last story, it might be useful to look at top-5s in the context of races run, and have a look at the percentage of races that these drivers were able to convert into top-5s.

For the sake of brevity, I’m going to look at the four drivers mentioned in the last post.

In order of top-5 percentage:

1) David Pearson – 574 races, 301 top 5s (52%), 105 wins (18%)

2) Richard Petty – 1185 races run, 555 top 5s (47%), 200 wins (17%)

3) Bobby Allison – 717 races, 336 top 5s (46%), 85 wins (12%)

4) Jeff Gordon – 700 races run, 300 top 5s (43%), 87 wins (12%)

UPDATE – decided to add Jimmie Johnson to this list:

5) Jimmie Johnson – 410 races run, 172 top 5s (42%), 62 wins (15%)

Jeff Gordon’s top-5s

On this last podcast, we covered the fact that Jeff Gordon recorded his 300th top 5 of his career at Darlington.

Most reporting did not really give us a sense of the magnitude of his achievement.

On the podcast, I mentioned that Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, and David Pearson were the only other NASCAR drivers to earn more top 5s.

But the question remained – how many more does Gordon have to get before he moves higher up the list? I couldn’t find this information while we were recording, but according to an article on nascar.com, he doesn’t have far to go.

“[Gordon] now ranks behind only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (555), Bobby Allison (336) and David Pearson (301) in career top-fives.”

So two more top-5s, and he’ll move ahead of David Pearson. 37 more, and he’ll move ahead of Bobby Allison. If he is able to earn a top-5 in about 30% of his remaining races (approximately his top-5 percentage from last year), it will take him 6 or 7 more races to pass David Pearson, and another 3.5 seasons to pass Bobby Allison, and another 24 seasons to pass Richard Petty.

If he maintained his current top-5 percentage of 43%, he’ll only have to go 17 years to eclipse Richard Petty. Either way, he will not be driving in the sport that long.

But he has a shot at the other two.

Insta-follow up (i.e., Coach was wrong)

I made a mistake and referenced “Humpy’s Big Bonus” in the last podcast because Humpy Wheeler has, in the past, been known for his publicity work for the Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, he retired a few years ago, and the $1 million bonus for the driver that wins all 5 segments should be called “Bruton’s Big Bonus”.

Wrong way joystick cranking at Darlington

Join us for our 82nd(!) episode of the schmak.

Lots of awesome schmak silliness, including the gyro cam sham, Darlington’s boring opening laps, the racing that broke out near the end, and a fantastic preview of the All-Star race next week. Do you have a question about the All-Star format? Eligibility for the race? It’s all here in the latest schmak.

Picks for the Sprint Open race:

Coach: Jamie McMurray
Rob: Martin Truex Jr.

Picks for the All-Star race:

Coach: Kasey Kahne
Rob: Clint Bowyer

Live Schmak – Wednesday at 6:45

We will be doing a live schmak on Wednesday, 6:45 pm Pacific Time.

Join us here: http://70.185.182.78:8000/listen.m3u

The url will be live at 6:45 pm on Wednesday.

No Backup for Denny

Just heard that Denny Hamlin does not have a backup plan, and is planning to be in the car for the entire race at Darlington.

Time to update my ESPN fantasy picks – Denny is great at this track, and 13th in the first practice.

Things to do in Talladega

On the latest podcast, we laid the schmakiest Schmak on Talladega infield, racing, crashing, raining, and a surprise victor.

Picks for next week at Darlington are:

Rob: Jimmie Johnson

Coach: Matt Kenseth

Weird Stuff in Richmond

This week, we schmak all things Richmond.

Penalties, tires, sprinkler malfunctions, it’s all here in the weekly Schmak of record.

Picks for next week at Talladega:

Coach: Dale Jr.

Rob: Cousin Carl Edwards