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Happiness Is

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 »

Happiness Is… Isle of Man Time Trials, Pocono(?) and Maple Syrup

Happiness Is… Isle of Man Time Trials, Pocono(?) and Maple Syrup

The season is over; everyone can start testing for next year. Now that Jimmie Johnson has won the last two races, there’s a prevailing feeling that the team has found their golden horseshoe, is about to go on a tear and that no one stands a chance. It’s quite possible that sentiment is correct. That would save a lot of teams money, as they won’t have to show up at the track — much like the fans at Dover last ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Comics, Geeks and a Prelude to a Big Weekend

Happiness Is… Comics, Geeks and a Prelude to a Big Weekend

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is 11 races old, nearly a third done already. So it’s worth mentioning that this stretch is the latest Jimmie Johnson has gone in a season without winning since, well, he invented the sport. Where has the golden horseshoe gone? It’s hard to argue that it’s been lost, as Johnson still benefited from a timely caution at Kansas to launch him from the teens to a near-upset race winner. Johnson’s laps led total (527) is actually ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Cornucopia, The Draft & Congress

Happiness Is… Cornucopia, The Draft & Congress

Happiness Is is more than happy to put that lackluster display of racing, aka Talladega, down to memory. While the continued goal here is to find the positive side of motorsports, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so with the superspeedway in Alabama. The fact that the Cup race made sure to end with a debatable finish just adds to the fun. Ugh. The interesting positive that came from Talladega was qualifying. In fact, some might argue that Cup qualifying ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Franchises, Barber, Work and Wrigley

Happiness Is… Franchises, Barber, Work and Wrigley

So it was an off week in NASCAR. Did anyone miss it? Aww, c’mon, a little break never hurt. Of course, the difficulty in writing anything worthwhile about the sport becomes problematic when, you know, nothing really happened. But wait, something did. The demise of Swan Racing has taken center stage in the news cycle — which tells you that either A) nothing actually happened or B) it’s actually worth writing about. OK, it’s not to pick on the drivers, crewmen, ... Read More »

Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors

Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors

It’s a NASCAR-free weekend. What will the ratings be for that? Much has been made of TV ratings so far this season; for NASCAR, IndyCar and even F1 have all been showing poorly thus far. (In fairness to the F1 series, the live races have been at strange hours for Americans, unless you’re in Hawaii, and the rebroadcasts have sometimes come in opposition to NASCAR races). The dell knell has sounded and now fans are watching, with a rubber-necked intrigue, to see the sport ... Read More »

Happiness Is… The DVR, Will Robinson, Not Mercedes & Long Beach.

Happiness Is… The DVR, Will Robinson, Not Mercedes & Long Beach.

One of the easy ways to fill space in a NASCAR column for the past couple years has been to debate the role of Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series. The oft-used comparison in this argument is that drivers who dabble in Nationwide are like Major League Baseball players dropping down into the minor leagues. First, let’s ignore the fact that too many writers feel the need to compare the sport to so-called stick-and-ball sports. Second, let’s also ignore the fact that ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Trucks, McNabb, Latecomers & Formula One

Happiness Is… Trucks, McNabb, Latecomers & Formula One

Once upon a time, there was a track that featured scintillating racing. She was a lovely track, and people were always fond of her and what she provided. One of the aspects that made the racing so good was how the tires wore out and how the drivers had to figure out how to deal with the issue. The track became a mix of masterful car setups and smart driving, which seems to be the right combination for good racing. ... Read More »

Happiness Is… FOX, F1, California, and Points

Happiness Is… FOX, F1, California, and Points

This racing season is off to a fantastic start. Really. Two 12-hour races in Cup. The last three Nationwide races were won by Cup drivers. The Truck Series… wait, do they still race? Even Formula One is rolling hot with derision over its new six-cylinder engine and the lack of noise it produces. And INDYCAR hasn’t even gotten started — what’s taking them so long?! Good times all around then. You betcha. Tom Bowles usually does a Did You Notice column each week, found here. ... Read More »