My story is typical. I was born a poor, Black child. I survived the mean streets of the Buffalo suburbs and four straight losses in the Super Bowl, grew into a mature adult and pillar of the community, and made my parents proud. OK, well, part of that is true. I was indeed raised in the Buffalo 'burbs...North Tonawanda, to be exact. The rest? Well, can't a guy dream?
Here's some highlights. I was a big baby. Like, 20 lbs. Maybe a few less. Mom always reminds me of the pain. The guilt ensures she gets great birthday presents. I have a brother two years older, and he used to make my life a living Hell, like any good brother should. That stopped when I turned 12, and was bigger than him. I spent most of my formative years annoying my elders. That includes parents, teachers, and the police. If I wasn't in after-school detention, I was being questioned for the latest neighborhood "incident". Looking back, it a was all pretty harmless. Well, maybe not the thing we did to our Spanish Teacher. But that's a story for another time. Sports helped keep me out of any serious trouble. Get suspended...and you were kicked off the team. So that only happened once. Maybe twice. With hopes and dreams, and a suitcase filled with Molson Canadian Lager, I headed off to college. Less than a year later, and a plea agreement with a reduced sentence (like I said...never convicted), my college experience wasn't exactly going as planned. But, with threats of bodily harm from Mom solidly in my back pocket, I managed to graduate from Gannon University in Erie, PA, and looked forward to a lucrative career in broadcasting. Soooooooo...I've bounced around from station to station in such vacation hot spots as Clearfield, PA, Joplin, MO, Evansville, IN, and Fayetteville, NC. In February of 1999, I took the job that I have now (more or less).
I never did find that pot of gold, but I've had a lot of fun along the way. And moving here was the best thing that ever happened to me. I met my beautiful wife, Stacy, while watching a Bills game at what used to be Damon's on Tunnel Road, and we were married in September of 2001. I lost my wedding ring in a bizarre chicken wing incident (true story), so I really have no proof. But I think she'll vouch for me. We don't have any children, but we do have cats...lots and lots of cats. I'd love to tell you exactly how many, but I lost track. Seriously, I started counting them the other night, but had to stop after I'd used all my fingers and toes. I was plum out of digits.
So that's my story. Of course, some of the sordid details have been left out due to pending legal action. But, Judge...I swear I had no idea that pig was your pet!
She's 44 years old, but Jennifer Aniston still has the goods.
In the trailer for her upcoming movie We're the Millers, Jen plays a stripper -- very convincingly. She gives Jason Sudeikis a lap dance while clad in lingerie, and then toward the end of the clip, she performs an extremely sexy strip-tease.
The premise of the movie is that Sudeikis's character hires Aniston's stripper character to pose as his wife. He assembles a fake family to fool border agents as he attempts to smuggle in a ton of pot from Mexico. We're the Millers is due in theaters on August 9th.
And it looks hysterical.
NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group – the fifth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history – consists of Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts. Next year’s Induction Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from Charlotte, N.C.
The 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2014. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcement this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”
Next year’s class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com – which counted for the 55th and final vote. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
Voting for next year’s class was as follows: Tim Flock (76%), Maurice Petty (67%), Dale Jarrett (56%), Jack Ingram (53%) and Fireball Roberts (51%).
The next top vote getters were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott.
Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts.
The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees that included:
Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Maurice Petty, Larry Phillips, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, O. Bruton Smith, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
Class of 2014 Inductees:
A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Flock was one of the sport’s first dominant drivers. In 187 starts, Flock had 39 victories, a total that still ranks 18th on the all-time wins list. Flock won his first series title in 1952 while driving Ted Chester’s Hudson Hornet, and his second in 1955 driving Carl Kiekhaefer’s Chrysler. He dominated that season, posting 18 wins, 32 top fives and 18 poles in 39 races. Flock’s 18 wins stood as a single-season victory record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series has had a variety of incarnations through the years but when considered collectively, an argument can be made that Jack Ingram is the series’ all-time greatest driver. Before the formation of the series, Ingram won three consecutive championships, from 1972-74, in its precursor – the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, he won the inaugural title in 1982 and again in ’85. In his 10 years of competition in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of Ingram’s 31 wins came on short tracks.
Dale Jarrett (above)
Dale Jarrett personified big-stage performances. A three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jarrett excelled under NASCAR’s brightest spotlights. His 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories – 21st all-time – also include the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and recorded six additional top-five championship finishes. With father Ned, the Jarretts are only the second father-son combination with NASCAR premier series championships after NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee and Richard Petty. Ned Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011. Ned and Dale Jarrett become the third father-son duo selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, following Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.
The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Maurice Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be chosen for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame – following his older brother Richard, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman. The man simply called “Chief” supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton were also among those who won with his engines. Petty had a brief driving career – 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964 – but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title. He was arguably stock car racing’s first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today’s competitors who are stars on and off the track. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and ’63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959 – the year the speedway opened.
I wasn't really too surprised to see that one of the "top 5 road trips" in the USA rolls right through Western North Carolina. And, before I even began to read the article in USA Weekend, I guessed it would include the Blue Ridge Parkway. But I was only half-right.
Here's what they said:
This seamless, leisurely drive through three national parks offers some of the East Coast’s most scenic landscapes. Newfound Gap Road (32 miles long) cuts across Great Smoky Mountain National Park and connects with the Blue Ridge Parkway (469 miles), which connects with Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive (105 miles). This wonderful drive is void of billboards, traffic lights, roadside trash, and speeding 18-wheelers. We have taken this trip many times and look forward to doing it again. The ideal seasons are spring, for blooms, and fall, for colorful foliage. Six national park lodges along the way offer fun places to overnight. Newfound Gap Road was closed by a major landslide in January 2013, but is expected to open for traffic in mid-May.
Kid stops: Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tenn.; whitewater rafting near Asheville; Roanoke’s Virginia Museum of Transportation. National Park Service visitor centers along the route offer videos, exhibits and the entertaining, educational Junior Ranger programs.
If you'd like to read the full article, CLICK HERE.
If you're heading to Charlotte for the race this weekend, for the first time, you'll have a tasty craft beer option to quench your thirst!
Dale’s Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils will be the only craft beers available throughout CMS—at the Super Speedway, the Speedway Club, zMax Dragway and The Dirt Track. 'Cause craft beer and fast cars go together like moonshiners and lonesome ridge roads.
Grab a CAN of Oskar Blues Brewery’s cold refreshing voluminously-hopped Dale’s Pale Ale or crisp gold metal winner Mama’s Little Yella Pils at select concession stands, the Winner’s Circle Lounge, Whiskey River and the Fan Zone for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500. Now the original craft beer-in-a-can is Charlotte Motor Speedway’s first official craft brewery partner.
Not going to the track but still want to enjoy some tasty brews from Oskar Blues? (yeah, I know it rhymes)...then listen to win a Canundrum 12-pack, every Friday, all summer long. It's the ORIGINAL Free Beer Friday on Rock 104.9!