We’re back in the iTunes store

Migrating from the old feed to the new feed broke something for the iTunes store. After trying here and there to fix it for the better part of a month, I wrote to iTunes support to see if we could get our podcast listing fixed in the iTunes podcast store. A few exchanges later, I was told “podcast has been fixed, please allow 2-3 days”. So I did, checking every day for the next 9 (!) days.

Still not fixed.

I wrote back and politely asked them to recheck, at which point I received a “hello, we’re seeing it live here” email.

So I did everything I normally do to check for the feed, and lo-and-behold, it is now live again in the iTunes store.

So I guess somebody forgot to flip the “go live now” switch, but the point is that we’re back in the iTunes store.

My podcatcher app still can’t find us via search, but I imagine that will just take a couple more days to propagate through whatever search database they are using.

In the meantime, if you are still not subscribed, find us here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/track-schmak/id433840605?mt=2

Road Course Rambunctiousness

We are fans of the road course, and thought that this week was a good week.

Although we do take TNT to task for a few things, and talk about the various drivers and tribulations and trying to follow what was actually happening. Good race, could be better, TNT.

Picks for Kentucky next week:

Coach: Kasey Kahne
Rob: Jimmie Johnson

Road course extravoganza

For those who love road courses (or at least tolerate them), this is a banner weekend for NASCAR. Cup is at Sonoma, and Nationwide at Road America (yes, “America”, not Atlanta. I checked).

What’s new is the cup qualifying format. This is the same format that Nationwide had used in the past.

In summary:

  • Cars will be assigned to one of five or six groups based on final practice speeds, slowest to fastest.
  • Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the Series Director, and each car likely will receive three laps at full speed.
  • A car’s best lap time during its session will be the qualifying lap time of record.
  • A group’s time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.

Qualifying for Nationwide starts Saturday at 9:05 am Pacific on ESPN2.

Qualifying for Cup starts Saturday at 11:05 am Pacific on SPEED.

The Nationwide race then starts Saturday at 2 pm Pacific on ESPN.

The Cup race starts Sunday at noon Pacific, on TNT.

4 events, four different channels. NASCAR really needs to whittle it down some.

Is Kenseth a good pick for Sonoma?

Nascar.com asks the question in a headline:

KensethBettridge

Short answer: NO!

Longer answer: see Betteridge’s law of headlines.

Longest answer: if the answer to the headline question is “yes”, then the question isn’t written. A more declarative sentence like “Kenseth is a surprisingly good pick for Sonoma” or “You may be surprised by who we pick for Sonoma” is generally written. But I watched the stupid video anyway, and of course, they called Kenseth a fantasy dud, with Sonoma being his worst track.

So there you go, I just saved 5 minutes of your life. Also, now you don’t have to hear someone say “…four straight top-7 finishes”. Ridiculous.

Villeneuve at Sonoma

“We are very happy to have Jacques Villeneuve representing our eyewear in the race at Sonoma Raceway,” said Robert Cooper, Racing Director for TAG Heuer Eyewear.

Three things:

1) Look out, Danica!

2) Rob, I didn’t know you had a side job.

3) That 51 car is going to be in even worse shape than when Bobby Labonte drove it.

Trouble for Hendrick at Michigan

Race in review – sheesh, what happened to Hendrick motorsports? Where did the Biff come from? How did commercials factor into the race coverage? Some of these questions are answered in this week’s trackschmak.

Picks for next week (road course!)

Rob: Clint Bowyer
Coach: Kurt Busch

Driver Swap

Last week, JTG Daugherty racing announced that they hired AJ Allmendinger to replace Bobby Labonte in the #47 Toyota for 4 or so races.

“We’ve kind of gone backward the last three years,” co-owner Brad Daugherty said. “We can’t exactly put a finger on it without being able to benchmark it against a second team. It’s really hard. He’s available, so we thought we’d stick him in there to see if he has a different perspective on what we’re doing and what we’re not doing.”

I don’t really see how Allmendinger, with his limited stock car experience, is going to provide better feedback than Labonte. Maybe “different” is all they were looking for. Unless they just got tired of mowing the grass.

Anyway, this week Labonte announced that he will now drive the #51 Chevy that Allmendinger recently vacated. So at least he’ll keep his streak of 703 consecutive starts alive.

It’ll be interesting to see who runs better during the races, and who actually manages to put together some decent finishes.

Jason Leffler

Quotes from the frontstretch.com

Who knows why, but all of a sudden we’re starting to see drivers passing away again. Dan Wheldon is killed in the IndyCar season finale in 2011. Tyler Morr dies after a crash at Auburndale in May 2012. Jeff Osborn lost his life in May 2012 as well. Tyler Wolf passes away at Calistoga in October 2012.

Jason Leffler was a racer. He’d race a Cup car or a motorized scooter. Like any driver, he had an ego, but he was also one of the nicest guys you could meet in the garage. He wore his hair the same way for years because his sponsor Great Clips wanted him to. He had some good rides and he had some crappy rides. He took what he could get because he loved to race. He only had three wins in the national touring series of NASCAR but he always ran like a sprint car driver, wide open and on the edge.

Jason Leffler is a sad reminder that racing will always be dangerous despite our best efforts. See the fans that were injured this year at Daytona and Charlotte.

Leffler can also serve as a reminder to be the best person you can be right now, because you don’t always get to chose your legacy.

Party Pooper in the Poconos

It’s here!

Almost two days earlier than last week.

A pretty boring race, but TNT made it somewhat bearable.

Picks for next week:

Coach: Dale Jr.
Rob: Greg Biffle.

Could have used a different picture

So Jeb Burton got his first truck win. But they could have picked a picture that didn’t highlight the empty stands.

Burton win empty stands

Disconnected Dover

What’s better than never? Late!

What’s better than that? This weeks TrackSchmak at Dover, also with some Pocono Prognostication!

Our picks for Pocono:

Rob: Jeff Gordon
Coach: Joey Logano

Keselowski’s team fined points and $, just like we thought

Kesleowski’s #2 Ford was found to be too low in post-race inspection, reportedly from a part that broke. Penske had already said that he would not appeal the penalty.

From jayski.com:

As a result of this violation, crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $25,000 and will remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and six championship car owner (Roger Penske) points.

And as noted in our previously-recorded-but-not-yet-editied podcast, this was the exact same penalty applied to Martin Truex Jr.’s team earlier this year for the same violation.

Score one for NASCAR consistency. The scoreboard is something like 15 to 83643 (consistency vs. rule-of-the-moment), but at least it is something.

Feed issues – semi fixed

Things have broken left and right here at the schmak, but no worries, we’re fixin’ with duct tape and rivets. Refresh your feeds, because the main http://feeds.feedburner.com/TrackSchmak feed is back in buisness. However, this should automatically migrate itself over to our direct podcast line http://trackschmak.com/feed/podcast feed at some point. Hopefully the iTunes listing (which now displays one invalid episode) will pick that up.

So if you are new, please join our direct full site feed at http://trackschmak.com/feed for all the articles. Or, just append a “/podcast” to the end of it for a podcast-only feed. We’re ditching feedburner for many reasons, this last week just being the last one.

EDIT: Also directly controlling the auto tweet stuff rather than letting feedburner sometimes do it.

Server issues

Over the last couple of weeks, the web hosting company that I use for trackschmak has been migrating all accounts to new server hardware.

I’d already had issues with the RSS feed used by iTunes to get the podcasts published, but this server move broke it entirely. I’m working on an alternate solution (if only it were as simple as installing pod press and migrating the feed url).

So apologies for the interrupted podcast service. You can still get the podcast here, and I should have something figured out in the next couple of days.

F1 cars – they just look weird

This is what we were talking about in the last podcast – the nose of the F1 cars.

From the side, it looks like a mustachioed race car:

F1_redbull_side

And from the front, it looks like a hungry whale:

F1 front

Just, meh.

F1 front