Wednesday , October 22 2014
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Happiness Is

Happiness Is… Talladega, Teamwork, Safety, and Beer

Happiness Is… Talladega, Teamwork, Safety, and Beer

So that’s that, eh?  Let it now be known, that in NASCAR, you can drive around like a complete asstaco and there’s not much they’ll do to you — unless you’re a backmarker and they’d like to make an example out of you but don’t really want to punish a superstar because that might piss off the super-influential owner or the sponsors that are aligned with him in the midst of a new-format playoff system that is bringing the sport ... Read More »

Happiness Is… The Master Plan, Second Chances, And Boom, Drama

Happiness Is… The Master Plan, Second Chances, And Boom, Drama

Last weekend, Formula One raced at Japan’s Suzuka circuit in rather treacherous conditions.  The organizers had the opportunity to move the race’s start time up in an effort to avoid Typhoon Phanfone, but ultimately decided against doing so in effort to maximize Europe’s ability to watch the race.  That’s right; even a typhoon couldn’t put one of these events off schedule. The race began in a downpour, with the cars parading behind a safety car, then to pit lane as ... Read More »

Happiness Is…Being Forgotten, and Vegas

Happiness Is…Being Forgotten, and Vegas

Well Dover was a letdown.  The rash of articles that posted on Monday and Tuesday that proffered analysis of the Dover race all seemed to hit on the fact that there was little in the way of anything exciting at the concrete oval.  These comments didn’t miss the mark. It should be noted that the Nationwide race also didn’t seem to have much going for it in the way of excitement, except for a wreck that nearly put championship leader ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Jobs & Dover

Happiness Is… Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Jobs & Dover

Hip hip hooray, NASCAR announced its rules changes for the 2015 season.  Or something. The whole big hope is to mitigate the awful aero push that has transformed a number of tracks into circular parades.  The aerodynamic dependence of the cars, left unsettled by trailing in another’s wake, has become the bane of the circuit’s existence. Thus, by removing this aspect the cars should, in theory, be better able to pass. The shortened spoiler, created by taking two inches from ... Read More »

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 »