Saturday, March 17, 2018

My plan to shut down "Gone Barefoot" and re-organize episode summaries

As I posted a month ago, I wanted to re-focus my efforts on any news related to the Barefoot characters.  So, in that spirit, here is something of major importance that I wish to share:  The Gone Barefoot "reality TV" series I created would now be in its seventh and final season.

I set the debut date as Jan. 1, 2012, and the plan was to create 13 episodes each year.  I have later decided to cut the series off at seven seasons, as seven has traditionally used in the Bible to denote completeness - for example, the seventh day of rest after God created the heavens and the Earth.  Therefore, the series will end after 91 (13 x 7) episodes.

Although I have posted the show summaries before - type in the "Gone Barefoot" phrase in the search box to read them - I realize that I now have to re-organize the episodes so that they fit into 13 episodes each.  I plan to start that process sometime in the next week, and post the new summaries later this spring.

(DVD cover created in Nabawia Oliveira's InDesign class, ABC Adult School, 2013)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dream Season simulation won't be published

After some consideration, and with reluctance on my part, I have decided that the NASCAR dream season simulation that I am still in the process of finishing will not be made public.  This will be for my own enjoyment and amusement, and for three reasons:
  • The original dream season summaries that I created cannot easily be found online.  They were created some nine years ago, and although the forum it was on still exists, I simply don't have the time or effort to find it again.
  • I am busy contributing to other websites like the forum spun off from the506 site which covers sports broadcasting (and begun with NFL maps), so I think that should be my public persona for now.  Heck, I have tweeted only infrequently in the last few months, haven't posted on Facebook in quite some time, and haven't created a new YouTube video in three years!
  • Most importantly, I want to re-focus any new posts to this blog on the Barefoot family characters.  Oh, since I'm thinking about, maybe the next post should be B.W. standing next to a replica of a U.S. Legends Cars race-car with the vintage Dale Earnhardt #3 look, which I would create by importing an Adobe Photoshop program.  That would be timely, given that Austin Dillon drove car #3 to victory at the Daytona 500 today.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

NASCAR Dream Season still on hold, won't be posted here - but where?

I've had another change of heart on the NASCAR Dream Season project.  I am far from finished in compiling the information I need.  Furthermore, I have concluded that this blog isn't a perfect fit for presenting it, either.

Right now, I am still trying to calculate the numbers required for the race results, and I am focused on that.  At my current pace of about three hours a day, five days a week, it will take at least two months to complete, ending it just around the start of the Daytona speedweeks to open the 2018 season (climaxing in the historic 60th running of the Daytona 500; tickets available online here.).

Later, I will go back to the race result pages from the last five years to figure out more information I need to write complete summaries.  That will take even more time.

During this break, I have decided that I want to re-focus the blog on direct information and concepts related to the Barefoot family farm characters.  I don't know when the mood will strike in that area, but when it does this will definitely be the place it will be posted.

As for the NASCAR summaries, I have two options:
*I could put the results on a second, separate blog if Blogger allows me to do so for this purpose.
*I could record videos (my Dell Inspiron has a webcam, but I've never used it since I bought it in August 2016) and then post it to my YouTube channel (not updated since 2014).

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

A P.S. to stratonascar: Thanks for your new Google+ account and following me as you looked forward to seeing the summaries.  I know that you live in northern California, and I hope you buy tickets to the next race at Sonoma and enjoy yourself.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Oops! My Dream Season project has hit a roadblock as I start over

It's been a while - the beginning of September to be exact - since I launched my best guess as to who would races and championships in a mythical NASCAR season in which the best of the best drivers in history "compete" against each other.  I ran the simulation - and wrote reports on them - based on a set of rules I put together here.

Unfortunately, those rules turned out to be flawed, leading me to scrap my work and start all over again.

The biggest problem has to do with the stage-racing format that NASCAR began this year in all of its top series.  If you read that post, you noticed that the results of the stages depended on the historical data of all the drivers in those particular races of those particular series.  Many of them had such records to fall back on, but many others did not, and the consequences were obvious in some cases:
  • Herb Thomas, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame (class of 2013) for his great success in the 1950s, was given an automatic last-place finish in one of the races of the Can-Am Duel at Daytona because his career effectively ended before the track opened.  Per the rules, the only chance he had to make the Daytona 500 in my scenario was to have a fast-enough lap in Sunday's previous qualifying.  He did not, and therefore, he failed to qualify.  Most importantly, the purpose of the qualifying race - to determine who would make the main race among those not yet locked in - was defeated.
  • Adam Petty - one of my other full-time drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - is locked out of receiving any chance at stage points due to having made one career start in that series. (More races were planned, but he was killed in a race practice crash in May 2000). 
  • Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, and Justin Allgaier similarly had limited opportunities to get stage points due to having few (Logano and Kahne) or no (Allgaier) career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, for which they "race" full time.

So what I will do from now on is to base all race results on the same criteria used for the supplemental statistical data - averages from the five-year period from 2012 to 2016.  Whatever finishing positions were attained by drivers in the same starting positions over that five-year period will be averaged together and the driver corresponding to the position with the best averages will win the stages and the race.  Points will be awarded to the 10 best averages after each stage and to all drivers in descending order at the end of each race.

Playoffs will be conducted under the rules outlined on the original page and the procedures will not change.

This week, I replayed the first nine MENCS races.  While full reports are pending, here is a glimpse based on my calculations:
  • Dale Earnhardt unfortunately does not get the Daytona sweep.  He still wins the Daytona 500 and the Advance Auto Parts Clash (the latter is the only race still completely using historical data, as that was available for all drivers), but he falls to third place in Duel race #1.  Jimmie Johnson is the new winner, and Ned Jarrett finished second.  However, had Earnhardt won race #1, he would have finished 18th in the "Great American Race," and would have had to beat the new five-minute crash clock just to get that; he would have been one of 17 cars involved in the "big one" toward the start of stage 3.
  • Two drivers earned "perfect scores"; that is, wins in both stages then in the race itself  - Earnhardt in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, and before that, Davey Allison in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas.  Under my original rules, Allison would have received no stage points as he never started there.  In fact, he was not even alive when Texas Motor Speedway opened in 1997; he had been dead for four years at that point.
  • Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon had taken over the championship lead and were separated by just three points.  The key to their success was by dominating the stage points; Gordon was first with 95 points while Johnson was second with 88.  The battle to accumulate race points was very tight.

I plan to replay the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series races next week, and then the writeups will resume shortly after that.  In the meantime, I will delete all the posts reflecting past results.

(Construction barricade picture courtesy Uline)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Where this year's playoff drivers would be during the Dream Season

Believe me, at some point I will return to race-by-race summaries of the season, as "NASCAR goes west" to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Auto Club Speedway.  But I feel that at this point I have what amounts to more timely information to give you at this point.

The three real-life seasons of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series are all well underway with their playoffs.  The MENCS second round will end on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, at which the field will be reduced from 12 drivers to 8.  The NXS second round, which has 8 drivers, is to begin Saturday on the same track.  The NCWTS has also gone from the second round to the third with 6 drivers left standing for the title; the playoffs there resume on Oct. 28 at Martinsville Speedway.

In all, 36 drivers qualified for the combined playoff fields this year.  However, the introduction of all-time greats to the starting fields in all of the series will cause a ripple effect that will cause so many of these to have to seek rides elsewhere.

When the music stops, in what chairs will they sit?  Let's find out.

(Drivers' names are listed in the order of their original playoff seedings.)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
  • Martin Truex, Jr. - #1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet in Xfinity Series (Truex won the series championship in 2004 and '05 driving for stepmother- and son Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; Dale Jr. himself now owns the team)
  • Kyle Larson - #12 Chevrolet in Camping World Truck Series (Larson has won races in all three series; his truck wins have come at Rockingham in 2013 and Eldora in 2016)
  • Kyle Busch - #18 Toyota in NXS; he won the 2008 series title in that car prior to joining the Cup series and taking the championship in 2015
  • Brad Keselowski - #22 Discount Tire Ford in NXS; he won the 2010 series title in that car prior to joining the Cup series and winning the season trophy in 2012
  • Jimmie Johnson - #48 Lowe's Chevrolet; the only one of these 16 drivers to be in the same car, with same owner, sponsor, and crew chief in this simulation
  • Kevin Harvick - #2 Chevrolet in NXS; he is another champion of both NXS (2001, '07) and MENCS (2014)
  • Denny Hamlin - #20 Toyota (Hisense for most races) in NXS
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. - shares #6 NXS car with Mark Martin; another two-time series champ (2011, '12)
  • Ryan Blaney - #66 Ford in NCWTS; Blaney was once a series full-timer and held the record for youngest race winner (age 18 at Iowa in 2012)
  • Chase Elliott - #52 Chevrolet in NXS; in 2014, he became the series' youngest champion ever, having turned 18 just two months before the Daytona season opener
  • Ryan Newman - #7 in Whelen Modified Series; has occasionally raced in the series with four career wins.  I have him going there when a reshuffling of teams ended up with the late Harry Scott, Jr. as owner of the version 1.0 team in what is now NXS; Newman was then "replaced" by Harry's son Brian.  Newman will have a limited NXS series as of the Las Vegas race in and around his modifieds schedule.
  • Kurt Busch - #97 Monster Energy/John Deere Ford; "reunion" with former car owner Jack Roush
  • Kasey Kahne - #21 Allegiant Air Chevrolet in NCWTS; I had Kahne winning the title in version 1.0 of the truck series; has five wins in six starts in real life
  • Austin Dillon - #21 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in NXS; won 2013 series title despite having no wins that season; was NCWTS champion in 2011
  • Matt Kenseth - #34 Ford in MENCS; was with Roush Fenway Racing in version 1.0, but was cut due to limits as to team size (yet another new wrinkle of version 2.0); RFR retained Martin, Busch, Ned Jarrett, and Jeff Burton
  • Jamie McMurray - #42 ENEOS Chevrolet in NXS

Xfinity Series
  • William Byron - K&N Pro Filters East Series; he was series champ in 2015
  • Justin Allgaier - #19 Ford in NCWTS
  • Elliott Sadler - #01 Chevrolet owned by Johnny Davis in NXS
  • Daniel Hemric - cut his teeth in Legends cars, so probably ends up back there
  • Brennan Poole - ARCA Racing Series, where he won six races and finished third in the final 2012 standings
  • Ryan Reed - has experience in both ARCA and sports cars, so he'll find a ride in one of those
  • Jeremy Clements - would be another ARCA driver; his 2008 win in that series was his last in national competition before his improbable triumph at Road America in 2017
  • Blake Koch - K&N Pro Filters West Series, which he ran full-time in 2009
  • Cole Custer - KNPSW, which he ran full-time in 2013 as a 15-year-old
  • Matt Tifft - K&N Pro Filters East Series, which he ran full-time in 2013
  • Brendan Gaughan - #62 South Point Chevrolet in NCWTS
  • Michael Annett - nothing full-time; may jump in for occasional NXS or even MENCS runs

Camping World Truck Series
  • Christopher Bell - full-time in dirt racing
  • Johnny Sauter - part-timer in series; I have had him in the #23 and #99 trucks for various races
  • John Hunter Nemechek - "independent" late model sanctions
  • Matt Crafton - #88 Menards Toyota in NCWTS
  • Chase Briscoe - ARCA; was 2016 series champion
  • Ben Rhodes - KNPSE, which he ran full-time in 2014
  • Austin Cindric - I understand he has lots of sports-car experience, so he'll end up there somehow
  • Kaz Grala - KNPSE; he was a full-timer there for two years (2014 and '15)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

NASCAR Dream Season: Kyle Busch ends disappointing day

The back half of the Atlanta Motor Speedway doubleheader on Saturday, February 24 was the Camping World Truck Series' Active Pest Control 200.  This race was first run in 2004, discontinued in 2012, then restored in 2015.

February 24
Atlanta Motor Speedway
200.2 miles/130 laps (stages: 40, 40, 50)

In the end, the Dream Season version of this event also proved to be the back end of a bummer day for future NASCAR Hall of Famer Kyle Busch, who finished second - again.

Minutes after finishing "first loser" to Brad Keselowski in the Xfinity Series race, he climbed into the #51 Toyota Tundra he "leased back" to former owner Billy Ballew.  He took the lead from pole-sitter Kasey Kahne on lap 19 and hung on through the end of the first stage on lap 40.  Jack Sprague was kept on the track during the break and led the race on the restart.

The first major incident was on lap 48, when James Buescher (2012 champion) cut a tire and took John Wes Townley and Scott Riggs out with him.  Busch won stage 2 as well when the pit stops cycled through.

Stage 3 again saw a new leader when it went green, but this time it was due to Justin Allgaier winning the race off pit road.  However, Busch quickly regained the lead; in fact, he would lead 90 of the 130 laps in the race.

But - and I think you know where this is going - none of those laps were the last one.  That's because the truck Busch drove got looser and looser as the run progressed, enough for Matt Crafton, two-time champion and record holder for most career starts in NCWTS history, to make the pass with seven laps to go.  Crafton would go on to replicate his victory from 2015.

"Frankly, I don't know where it all went wrong for me," Busch would have said afterwards.  "Some things are meant to be, and unfortunately for me this whole day was not among them."

Busch's stage wins were based on three career wins and an incredible average finish of 1.80.

Two crashes on laps 94 and 113 during stage 3 ended the day for eight drivers.

Top 10 after stage 1: Kyle Busch, Ron Hornaday, Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner, Matt Crafton, Bobby Hamilton, David Reutimann, Timothy Peters, Dennis Setzer, Travis Kvapil
Top 10 after stage 2: Kyle Busch, Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters, Matt Crafton, Brendan Gaughan, Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner, Johnny Sauter, Travis Kvapil

Final full-field results with point totals
  1. Matt Crafton - #88 Menards Toyota - 53
  2. Kyle Busch - #51 CertainTeed Toyota - 0*
  3. Travis Kvapil - #77 SafeLite Auto Glass Toyota - 37
  4. Todd Bodine - #13 Ride TV Toyota - 50
  5. Kurt Busch - #2 LTi Printing Ford - 0*
  6. Kasey Kahne - #21 Allegiant Air Chevrolet - 31
  7. Justin Allgaier - #19 Draw-Tite Ford - 30
  8. Joey Logano - #29 Cooper Standard Ford - 29
  9. Kyle Larson - #12 Georgia Tech Chevrolet - 28
  10. Mike Skinner - #5 Edelbrock Ford - 38
  11. David Reutimann - #18 Aaron's Toyota - 30
  12. Timothy Peters - #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota - 36
  13. Darrell Wallace, Jr. - #4 Sirius XM Toyota - 24
  14. Ryan Blaney - #66 Blue Gate Bank Ford - 23
  15. Ron Hornaday - #33 Smoky Mountain Snuff Ford - 36
  16. Erik Jones - #16 Great Wolf Lodge Toyota - 21
  17. Mike Wallace - #50 BB&T Chevrolet - 0*
  18. Jack Sprague - #7 Red Horse Racing Toyota - 20
  19. Johnny Sauter - #23 Allegiant Air Chevrolet - 21
  20. Jason Leffler - #83 Tom Johnson's RV/MRN Chevrolet - 17
  21. Scott Riggs - #52 Ford Credit Ford - 16
  22. Brendan Gaughan - #62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet - 21
  23. Bobby Hamilton - #98 Square D Toyota - 19
  24. Reed Sorenson - #02 Young Motorsports Chevrolet - 13
  25. David Ragan - #63 Mittler Racing Chevrolet - 12
  26. Regan Smith - #8 DAB Construction Chevrolet - 11
  27. Dennis Setzer - #44 TMM Chevrolet - 12
  28. John Wes Townley - #1 Zaxby's Ford - 9
  29. James Buescher - #92 Black's Tire Service Chevrolet - 8
  30. Jennifer Jo Cobb - #10 Racegirl Ford - 7
  31. Cale Gale - #99 Stone Mountain Park Chevrolet - 6
  32. Joe Ruttman - #49 Schwan's Ford - 5
*Driver not eligible for points

Top 8 in points after this race
  1. Todd Bodine - 89
  2. Matt Crafton - 85 (1 win)
  3. Ron Hornaday - 76
  4. Timothy Peters - 74
  5. Mike Skinner - 71
  6. Joey Logano - 69 (1 win)
  7. Bobby Hamilton - 64
  8. David Reutimann - 62
Race statistics
Pole winner: Kasey Kahne, 177.873 mph
Race speed: 130.397 mph
Margin of victory: 0.402 seconds
Time of race: 1 hr., 32 min., 7 sec.
Cautions: 6 for 29 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 5 drivers

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Xfinity Series Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

In 2015, Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark launched a new idea for his racetrack: placing both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series races on the same day.  As it turns out, it's the Saturday after the Daytona 500, meaning that there's another occasion for all three of NASCAR's top series to get together.

Up first was the Xfinity Series Rinnai 250.  The series has raced at AMS every year, once a year, since 1992.  Jeff Gordon - driving the #1 Baby Ruth Ford for Bill Davis - was the winner of that race; months later, he would sign with Rick Hendrick and make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut on the same track.  Carl Edwards won the 2005 event for his first career win, which he would back up with his first career Cup win the next day - still the only time that has ever occurred.  Kevin Harvick (2013-15) and Kyle Busch (2016-17) are the only race winners in the last five years.

And it was Harvick who was the only leader of this dream race early on; he led the first 48 laps, including all 40 in the first stage (based on his series-high four NXS wins at Atlanta).  Busch took over the lead on the second-stage restart.  That stage had only one caution, as Joe Nemechek spun off turn two on lap 69.  The leaders came down for the pit stops, and there Brad Keselowski beat Busch off, and held on to win stage two.  ("Brad K" has never won at AMS in the series, but his average of 6.17 as of the 2016 race was good enough to be best among all qualifiers.)

Top 10 after stage 1: Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Joe Nemechek, Johnny Benson, Michael Waltrip
Top 10 after stage 2: Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Brian Scott, Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer

A four-car crash early in stage 3 took out 1996 and '97 series champion Johnny Benson and teammate J.J. Yeley among others.  Keselowski, meanwhile, passed Busch for the lead with 17 laps to go and held on for the win.  However, Harvick's consistent day gave him the most points among all drivers.  Bobby Labonte finished third for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Past champs Austin Dillon and Martin Truex, Jr. were among those caught speeding on pit road, thereby costing them potential good finishes.

Final race results with point totals:
  1. #22 Brad Keselowski - Discount Tire Ford - 50
  2. #18 Kyle Busch - GameStop Toyota - 46
  3. #11 Bobby Labonte - AXE Body Spray Toyota - 0*
  4. #2 Kevin Harvick - Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet - 51
  5. #7 Geoffrey Bodine - Brandt Chevrolet - 32
  6. #60 Carl Edwards - Arris Ford - 48
  7. #5 Brian Vickers - Armour Meats Chevrolet - 30
  8. #43 Adam Petty - Smithfield Foods Ford - 0*
  9. #20 Denny Hamlin - Hisense 4K Toyota - 28
  10. #33 Paul Menard - Menards/Dutch Boy Chevrolet - 30
  11. #55 Clint Bowyer - Aaron's "Lucky Dog" Toyota - 27
  12. #21 Austin Dillon - Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet - 25
  13. #42 Jamie McMurray - ENEOS Chevrolet - 33
  14. #16 Greg Biffle - Leidos Ford - 34
  15. #6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. - Roush Performance Ford - 26
  16. #48 Randy LaJoie - DC Solar Chevrolet - 21
  17. #99 Michael Waltrip - Aaron's "Dream Machine" Toyota - 21
  18. #98 Matt Kenseth - Resers Meats Ford - 0*
  19. #01 Elliott Sadler - FlexSeal Chevrolet - 18
  20. #88 Mike Wallace - Hellman's Chevrolet - 17
  21. #1 Martin Truex, Jr. - OneMain Financial Chevrolet - 16
  22. #52 Chase Elliott - Emory Healthcare Chevrolet - 15
  23. #24 Buckshot Jones - Can-Am/BRP Toyota - 14
  24. #87 Joe Nemechek - Leaf Filters Chevrolet - 16
  25. #8 Kenny Wallace - Chevrolet - 0*
  26. #32 Brian Scott -  Shore Lodge Chevrolet - 15
  27. #14 J.J. Yeley - Owens-Corning Toyota - 10
  28. #39 Rob Moroso - Chevrolet - 9
  29. #44 Johnny Benson - Johnsonville Toyota - 10
  30. #51 Jack Ingram - Chevrolet - 7
  31. #40 Jeff Green - Nutrition for Life Dodge - 6
  32. #78 Bobby Hamilton, Jr. - McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet - 5
  33. #0 Sam Ard - JD Motorsports Chevrolet - 4
  34. #90 Bill Rexford - Boomershine Auto Chevrolet - 3
  35. #28 David Green - WinField United Toyota - 2
  36. #4 Jimmy Spencer - FlexSeal Chevrolet - 1
  37. #74 Bobby Isaac - Mike Harmon Racing Dodge - 1
  38. #13 Ricky Craven - Long Motorsports Dodge - 1
  39. #07 Chuck Bown - Sea Life Chevrolet - 1
  40. #93 Jeff Purvis - Sieg Motorsports Chevrolet - 1
*Driver ineligible for points in this race
Top 12 in points after this race
  1. Kevin Harvick - 100
  2. Brad Keselowski - 84
  3. Geoffrey Bodine - 73
  4. Carl Edwards - 72
  5. Clint Bowyer - 62
  6. Greg Biffle - 61
  7. Kyle Busch - 59
  8. Michael Waltrip - 56
  9. Austin Dillon - 55
  10. Paul Menard - 55
  11. Denny Hamlin - 54
  12. Chase Elliott - 49
The second half will be in the next post.