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home : columns : dave fjeld March 24, 2017


1/16/2013 9:56:00 AM
More stock in NASCAR
I'm getting into NASCAR mode a little early this year, but with good reason.
Normally, I wait until Daytona Speedweeks to talk a little racing, but I couldn't hold back after watching testing at Daytona Thursday night.
Yes, cars and drivers were back on the high banks of Daytona to give a test run with the new generation of cars that NASCAR is putting on the track in 2013. They've got a similar look to the past cars, but now you're seeing more "stock" in stock car racing.
Yes, indeed, the cars look much more like the cars you see on the road today. In fact, many of the body parts come directly from the automobile manufacturers - Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and Dodge.
Yes, there are still decals that offer the appearance of headlights and tail lights and the body is covered with a decal instead of paint, but the bodies are no longer aerodynamically smooth and not the same.
In fact, while watching testing on The Speed Channel Thursday night, one of the pit reporters showed the actual Ford Motor Company part number that was imprinted on the left quarterpanel.
What's more, drivers like the look of the cars but say the cars are much more difficult to handle. That will put a lot more responsibility on the crew chiefs and engineers to set up the car to the driver's liking.
But that could create one positive thing and one negative thing - closer racing and more wrecks.
The cars also are not built for bump-drafting which has become critical at the 2.5-mile tri-oval superspeedways at Daytona and Talladega. We'll have to wait and see if that translate into good racing, or more importantly, exciting racing.
Little 'silly' in season
NASCAR's equivalent of baseball's "Hot Stove League," when players move from team to team in the off-season, is "Silly Season."
However, there really wasn't much silly in the off-season this year.
As I watched testing at Daytona over the weekend, it was obvious that when it comes to the Sprint Cup Series, almost all of the same drivers are back in the same cars.
There are exceptions that we'll have to get used to, though.
Matt Kenseth has piloted Roush Fenway Racing's No. 17 for a number of years, but jumped to Joe Gibbs Racing in the off-season and will be driving the Home Depot/Dollar General No. 20 this season.
Joey Logano, who drove the car for the past several years, is now in the Penske Racing No. 22 Shell-Penzoil car.
Meanwhile, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who had success in the Nationwide Series will drive the No. 17 this season.
That's it, folks. Yes, there are some other changes, but among the big names on the NASCAR circuit, those are the key changes for names that are quickly recognizeable.
Indeed, Silly Season was quiet in 2013.
Princess Kay visit
It was nice to see Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Christine Reitsma of Sauk Centre, visiting Windom on Monday.
I don't recall a Princess Kay ever visiting Windom in her official capacity before, so it was a real treat for the community. She appeared at Windom Area Schools and spoke with elementary and middle school students Monday afternoon and then stayed Monday evening for the basketball double-header. She helped Jacob Johnson promote the dairy industry through his senior Eagle Achievement project.
At halftime of the Windom girls and boys games with Adrian, youngsters were invited on the floor to participate in an obstacle course. They zig-zagged through a series of pylons, tried their best at hula-hooping and then made a basket at a short basket.
As a reward, they received a pint of chocolate or strawberry milk.
You can read a little more about Princess Kay's visit in a story and photos on page 6.
Future hula-hooper
During halftime of the boys game, the kids did the obstacle course to get their free pint of milk.
But one little guy, 4-year-old Jackson Veenker, the son of John and Staci Veenker of Windom, was more interested in hula-hooping than shooting the basket or getting the milk.
Once he weaved through the pylons, he grabbed the hula-hoop and really went to work. In fact, even after he had completed a hula-hoop, he kept picking it up and doing it again before one of those working with the kids prompted him to leave the hula-hoop and shoot the basket.
He finally shot the basket, but rather than dashing for the pint of milk, he went right back to the hula-hoop to swing his hips some more. Again, one of the volunteers encouraged him to get his milk so someone else could take their turn.
If he doesn't have one already, the archaeic hula-hoop might be on Jackson's birthday/Christmas list in the future.








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