Thursday , August 21 2014
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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 »

Happiness Is… Silly Season, Tweaks & Juan Pablo Montoya

Happiness Is… Silly Season, Tweaks & Juan Pablo Montoya

The Coke Zero 400 is but a distant memory and it is barely a week old.  That race often sits as the wonderful spectacle that marks a sense of the midpoint of the season while marrying itself to the country’s holiday party, particularly with its old name, the Firecracker 400. Yet this one fell flat. Yeah, this year has been a difficult one with regards to weather and racing, so much so that the wunderkind Air Titan 2.0 has been ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Vacation, Luck & Making Friends

Happiness Is… Vacation, Luck & Making Friends

Ahhh.  It’s time for a pause.  One of those moments of reflection or something like that.  People who practice yoga might consider it a time to get centered.  Those who are taking a different path to enlightenment might feel it’s time to grab a beer and change the channel.  Duly noted. One of the things that has confounded Happiness Is in recent weeks are the frequent comments about how the media covering NASCAR is just a shill for the product. ... Read More »

Happiness Is…Thursday Night Racing, Sand, and Houston

Happiness Is…Thursday Night Racing, Sand, and Houston

Happiness Is usually prattles on about some kind of something or other to open each column.  It’s an opportunity to hit on something that might not fit into the usual points.  This week there’s none of that fluffy crap to get things going.  It’s just the good ol’ stuff that brings about a smirk.  Let’s roll. Happiness Is…Thursdays.  Thursdays are not rare, they happen every week.  They are both the promise of the weekend and a reminder of things to ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Jimmie Johnson, Road Courses & More Road Courses

Happiness Is… Jimmie Johnson, Road Courses & More Road Courses

Angriness Is, brother to Happiness Is, sent a text after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Michigan race last weekend that summed up everything in a more succinct fashion than us purported wordsmiths could: “What did fathers do to deserve that f*^#ing race?” Yup.  As entertainment, races are supposed to be some form of escape and provide, on some level, enjoyment and their best a sense of catharsis.  But Michigan once again provided little or none of those things.  If NASCAR ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Car Counts, Pocono & ’1′

Happiness Is… Car Counts, Pocono & ’1′

Blah, blah, blah.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If anyone saw last year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, they’ll understand that opening.  As the band Rush accepted its long-awaited entrance to the hall, guitarist Alex Lifeson gave a speech that consisted of just one word — blah — used in an oratory performance that seemed like an actual speech.  Brilliant. Unfortunately, there’s no great witticism here; blah, blah, blah seems about right for what’s happening in ... Read More »