SI Vault
Richard O'Brien
December 23, 2010
ALONG WITH the excitement around the oval, it was a season of words, birds and the occasionally absurd
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December 23, 2010

Getting Off Track

ALONG WITH the excitement around the oval, it was a season of words, birds and the occasionally absurd

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AFTER A run-in with Kevin Harvick at Pocono in June Joey Logano snarkily said that Harvick's "wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do." The jibe got play: DeLana Harvick does wear a fire suit; she's co-owner of Kevin Harvick Inc. Nationwide and Truck Series teams. DeLana's response? Selling shirts reading I WEAR THE FIRESUIT IN THIS FAMILY! at Women's sizes only.


JEFF GORDON went to the Nov. 10 Country Music Awards—but he was introduced by Carrie Underwood as Brad Paisley. Gordon sauntered out looking much like the singer whose albums include Mud on the Tires and 5th Gear. Moments later the real Paisley came out. In scripted banter he challenged Gordon to prove his identity by singing. Replied Gordon, "Come on, man. Everybody knows Brad Paisley lip-synchs." Said Paisley, "Make you a deal. You give me the keys to the 48 car, you can stay." Gordon: "I drive the 24 car." Paisley: "I know."


THIS YEAR'S second Talladega race fell on Oct. 31, and the conflux of the season's most harrowing event and Halloween provided the opportunity for a little scary fun. With backing from AMP Energy Juice, filmmaker Terry Gilliam came up with The Legend of Hallowdega, an 18-minute film that debuted online the day of the race and stars David Arquette and Justin Kirk (with appearances by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip). It spins a phantasmagorical story of an ancient Indian curse that turned Talladega into a spook house for cars and drivers.


IN AUGUST a 67-year-old New Jersey man got three years' probation for fatally shooting his family's 20-year-old African gray parrot, which was squawking while a NASCAR race was on TV. Dennis Zeglin was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and alcohol counseling. Gee, when Kyle Busch shoots the bird, he just gets parked in the pits for two laps.


HIS NICKNAME is Rocket Man, but Ryan Newman has slipped off course in the whole space-travel thing. In a March interview with Dustin Long of the Landmark Newspapers chain at Martinsville, Newman, who holds an engineering degree from Purdue, admits he adheres to conspiracy theories about the Apollo 11 moon landing. "I'm pretty sure it was a fake," said Newman. He pointed out that the American flag planted by the astronauts "was standing straight out when there's no wind up there" and that when the astronauts "step on the surface, there should have been a big cloud because there's no atmosphere." Out of this world, Newman. Out of this world.

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