Thursday , September 18 2014
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Happiness Is

Happiness Is… Relationships, Singapore, and Kentucky

Happiness Is… Relationships, Singapore, and Kentucky

Was that an actual race at Chicagoland?  A track not known for well, anything, seemed to produce a finish that was worth remembering.  Brad Keselowski’s ballsy move, splitting Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson as they raced for the lead, seemed to be just the type of thing that wasn’t supposed to be possible with the Gen-6 aero-dependent cars. Now, it should be mentioned that a caution flag set up that fun-to-watch finish, otherwise we might be looking at another one ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Change, Being Invited & Lameness

Happiness Is… Change, Being Invited & Lameness

With the Chase now set to begin (finally) this Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, the focus can shift from who’s making the playoffs to who’s going to win the championship.  The hype and hoopla surrounding this newer format of NASCAR’s postseason has been with us this entire season.  In fact, it feels like it’s been all Chase all the time. Clint Bowyer wheezed out at Richmond, failing to make the fun times, while also showing how off Toyota and Michael Waltrip ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Drama, Not Fighting & Intelligence

Happiness Is… Drama, Not Fighting & Intelligence

One race to go until the Cup playoffs begin. That seems like a mismatched sentence, putting together autosport and hockey, but alas, that’s how things are now.  This whole season has seemed like one big Chase storyline, beginning with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Daytona 500.  Almost immediately after he crossed the finish line, it felt like everyone could breathe easy because he was locked into the Chase. The Chase, the Chase, the Chase.  Each race with a new winner conceded to ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

The schedule came out this past week and it gave everyone who follows NASCAR something to gripe about.  In truth, all the criticisms are valid because NASCAR, due to the way the business is run, is unable to make serious changes that would make people feel happy, though that can be a moving target. The one big positive is that the Darlington race, has once again moved back to its fabled spot on the calendar: Labor Day weekend.  In discussing ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

So, let’s rewind for a moment and go back to Michigan. OK, that may not be the best way to put it, as most fans are happy to put Michigan in the rear-view mirror and look toward Bristol, where the hope is that the track might restore some of its past flavor and produce some good ol’-fashioned dust-ups and some angry drivers. But the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan deserves one quick moment of review. Brad Keselowski bounced off ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Napping, the Fight for the Chase & Cheese and Beer

Happiness Is… Napping, the Fight for the Chase & Cheese and Beer

Ugh. Yep, that’s the best opener that Happiness Is could deliver to start the column. The tenor of the past week has been deflating.  The Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward, Jr. incident has loomed large over auto racing, finding itself a continual headline in the news outlets.  Even Yahoo had coverage of Ward’s funeral on its homepage Thursday. What is to be made of all of this stuff? Too difficult to tell, and the one person that could bring any clarity – ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Indifference Darian Grubb & The Glen

Happiness Is… Indifference Darian Grubb & The Glen

Well, Pocono was fun.  Or something. At one point it seemed more like bumper cars at 200 mph than actual racing.  Then again, who ever expected the Big One to happen at the triangle, a track long considered one of the most boring?  The overall culmination felt like a disjointed mess of a race, which means it’s not all that surprising that the ratings once again equaled those of a daytime re-run of Covert Affairs. No need to harp on ... Read More »

Happiness Is… A Storybook Career, Sigh of Relief & Those Open Wheelers

Happiness Is… A Storybook Career, Sigh of Relief & Those Open Wheelers

Sigh of relief. Everyone can thank Jeff Gordon for putting a stop the Ford juggernaut.  The win streak, of four in a row, was getting out of hand and some other manufacturer needed to be represented in victory lane. There’s a couple interesting things about the string that Ford had just put together, with the first being that it had taken so long, the last being in 2001.  Perhaps lurking beneath that is how average Toyota has been this year, ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Hot Head Stevens, Statistics & Making an Entrance

Happiness Is… Hot Head Stevens, Statistics & Making an Entrance

More weeknight racing, please. Other Frontstretchers have asserted that nighttime races aren’t as good as the daytime events.  That’s fine, and Sunday afternoons have their place, but maybe not every week, and Wednesday’s truck race showed how likeable mid-week racing can be. As NASCAR continues to stick its head in the sand about making any schedule changes that might excite the fanbase, weeknight racing seems to be one of the coolest ideas that gets overlooked.  During these summer months, when ... Read More »

Happiness Is…Ford, Foreign Countries and Getting Paid

Happiness Is…Ford, Foreign Countries and Getting Paid

It’s time to hammer down on NASCAR’s superficial Topic of the Week, sponsored by Prune Candy.  For this week’s edition, it’s the Joey Logano – Morgan Shepherd incident.  Heard enough about it?  Read enough about it?  Any fan of the sport should be able to check the Yes box on that one. Much of the redress has been supportive for Shepherd, stating that by NASCAR’s rules he had every right to be out on the track at New Hampshire.  Then ... Read More »