Skip to main content

   Good Morning Kossacks and Welcome to Morning Open Thread (MOT)
We're known as the MOTley Crew and you can find us here every morning at 6:30 Eastern. Feel free to volunteer to take a day - permanently or every now and again. With the auto-publish feature you can set it and forget it. Sometimes the diarist du jour shows up much later, that's the beauty of Open Thread...it carries on without you! Just let us know in the comments.

Photobucket Photobucket

This afternoon the 2013 NASCAR season kicks off with even more excitement than usual when, for the first time in the 54 year history of NASCAR's signature race a woman, Danica Patrick will start from the coveted pole position.

I've long been fascinated by superstitions, particularly in sports, and after some research I found that racing qualified in having no shortage of their own superstitions.

No Green Race cars: The oldest superstition, avoiding the color green on a race car, dates back to 1920 when Chevrolet Motor Car Company co-founder Louis Chevrolet's younger brother, Gaston Chevrolet was killed while racing a green car at a track in Beverly Hills.

Afterwards it was rare to see a green car at the racetrack, but along with sponsorship which became more routine in the '70s and '80s, companies with green in their brand logo wanted that color to appear on the car they sponsored.  Soon the drivers accepted the change since another green, money, seemed to override an old superstition.

The 1981 racing season put an end to the superstition for any remaining holdouts when Darrell Waltrip, driving the green Mountain Dew car, won 12 races and the NASCAR Cup championship.  Additionally, Harry Gant had 18 career victories in the green Skoal Bandit Chevy during the '80s.

Peanut Shells:
 Before WWII, auto races were most often held at fairgrounds and the only area the teams could use to work on their cars was beneath the grandstands.  Fans in the stands would eat their peanuts and drop the shells which would find their way into the working area and the cars.  It wasn't long before a fatal crash occurred and a shell was found in the car.  This would happen again weeks or months later at a different track and before long a superstition was born. It is reported that NASCAR Hall of Fame members David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Junior Johnson were firm believers in the peanut superstition.

$50 bill:  Legend has it that two-time NASCAR champion Joe Weatherly was given two $50 bills by a friend just before the start of a Riverside, CA race in 1964.  Weatherly crashed and died that day and the bills were found in the shirt pocket of his drivers suit.

Shaving on race day:  George "Doc" Mackenzie was a racer during the Depression and wore what he called, his "lucky" goatee.  For some reason he decided to shave it off the morning of a race in Milwaukee in 1936 and he died in an accident that day.

Photobucket

Many individual drivers have their own superstitions, some of which have been "adopted" by other drivers as well:

The late Davy Allison was one of the most superstitious drivers in NASCAR. After a win, he refused to shave until he didn't win, and if he won a race on Sunday after watching a movie on Friday night, he'd go to the same movie until he didn't win.  

Matt Crafton, driver of truck number 88 (Allison's number), wears a Davy Allison t-shirt during every race.

The late Dale Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin would never even touch a $50 bill.  Marlin said,  "I'll make you get change first. I hate them, won't touch them."  Marlin also insists on eating a bologna sandwich before every race since he ate one before winning his first Daytona 500 in 1994.

Former NASCAR president Bill France Jr. was known to often "knock on wood" to ensure good luck.

Ron Hornaday, Jr. says he doesn't like to talk about his superstitions.  "Whatever superstitions they have, if it works for them they can go right ahead. You can find out what (superstitions) they've got and play with them a little, which is why I don't talk about what I'm superstitious about."  

Hornaday did confess to a ritual he picked up from his former boss, the late Dale Earnhardt. "My biggest one, and I learned it from Earnhardt, is when you walk into a building -- I don't care where you walk into it -- you leave through the same door you came in," Hornaday said. "I don't know why, but I always done that since I raced for Dale and that's been 15 years. You can see me walk into a building, walk all around the building until I get to the door I walked in, so I can walk out."

Driver, Brian Scott says, "I've heard to always dress with your right side first," Scott said. "If you are stepping into your boxers, right side first. Glove, right side first. Arm, leg, shoe -- all right side first. And if you do anything the other way, you have to take everything off and start again. That's pretty weird."

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr celebrates his win in Michigan in 2012 after a 143 race drought.
.

A more recent superstition began when Jessica Simpson, who has been tagged as being a jinx in the entertainment circles, wore Earnhardt, Jr.'s amp energy jacket while performing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the Sprint Cup race in October 2008.  Gossip and buzz about a curse began shortly thereafter when Dale lost race after race after race. There never has been any report from Earnhardt or his crew on whether he or they bought into the supposed curse.  

Four years and 143 races later, Earnhardt, Jr finally won again last year at Michigan International Speedway.  I'll let you all decide about the supposed jinx, but I'll add that he was driving a black Chevrolet with a green number 88 and I don't know if he wore a Davy Allison t-shirt during the race.

Most NASCAR drivers, and many people in general, consider number 13 to be unlucky. The late Joe Weatherly was terrified of the number 13. He was so terrified that when he qualified 13th for a Bristol race, he insisted on starting as 12a rather than 13. Doug Yates says that if he wakes up at the clock says 13, he goes back to sleep.

In fact, the number 13 fear is actually institutionalized by NASCAR and other sanctioning bodies. The stalls on pit road are designated by number, and no one wanted pit 13. So now, if you look at a pit chart, the order goes 12, 12A then 14.

A touching true story told by the late David Poole of the Charlotte Observer, 6 year old, Wessa Miller was a Dale Earnhardt fan who suffered from Spina Bifida.  When she attended the Daytona 500 in 1998 she was able to meet her hero due to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Wessa gave Earnhardt a penny and told him it would bring him good luck and upon returning to his garage area he glued it to his dashboard.  Nineteen previous trips to the Daytona 500 and Dale had never won the race - until that day when he finally broke through giving much of the credit to his one-cent good luck charm. The car is still on display in the Richard Childress Racing Museum where the penny remains to this day.

Flat Stanley, a children's book about a boy who becomes flat as a sheet of paper.  From this story grew the Flat Stanley Project by a third grade teacher in which school children learn letter writing skills.  The children create their own Flat Stanley and take him around with them for a few days as they write about where Flat Stanley has been in a journal.  They then mail Flat Stanley to other people asking them to treat Stanley as a guest and to document his activities in the journal for a few weeks and then return it.  This practice has not set well with driver Elliott Sadler, who is sponsored by Stanley Tools.  Sadler says, "Every time I pick out something that I think is for good luck or a ritual or anything like that ends up biting me in the butt. The only thing I will not do -- I will not take a picture with a 'Flat Stanley.' Every time I've ever taken a picture with a 'Flat Stanley' I've never made it more than half the race, something happens.  I'll take a picture with anything else, with 'Stanley' on it, but nothing with the little paper cut-out of the little dude."

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Good Sunday Morning, MOTliteers! (15+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    Have a great day, everybuddy ;~D

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:21:56 PM PST

  •  All Yesterday's Rallies (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, Joy of Fishes, BOHICA, DaNang65, eeff, weck

    Judging by the diaries here, the Democrats and Labor rally in Topeka went well. The Right Wing 2/23 protests fizzled out. At least they had less casualties than Gun Appreciation Day....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:41:18 AM PST

  •  Yesterday Race (6+ / 0-)

    Ended very badly for the fans !

    I'll round up a few more.

    There is another one I'll find

    •  this video (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, BOHICA, DaNang65, gulfgal98

      if it works for you shows the cameraman standing within a few feet of impact. He is knocked down from the debris .

      there was a reported 28 injuries.
      14 were taken to hospitals.
      one fan is has life threatening injuries, this is info from last night. there was 5 other seriously injured people.

      the other 14 were attended to at the track.

      the car hit at a gate in the fence, would this have been different had it not hit at that spot is the 64 million dollar question. The gate & opening failed, that failure caused the car to be ripped apart & those pieces scattered in the grandstands.

      There are many more videos & pictures.

      http://fromvictorylane.com/... ... h-Live.mp4

      •  that link (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, Joy of Fishes, BOHICA, DaNang65

        doesn't work sorry

      •  Good Morning eeff! (4+ / 0-)

        I have posted a number of comments on the accident in the stands at FB.  For the non-race fans here, both Daytona and Talladega (two restrictor plate tracks) need to remove the lower  15-20 rows of seats.  Those seats are very poor for viewing due to the banking of the track and are very dangerous for the fans due to the very high speeds the cars reach on the track.  

        Removing the lower 15-20 rows of seats sounds like a lot of seats, but it is not.  Talladega seats 200K and NEVER sells out.  Daytona rarely sells out any more either.  There was a similar incident at Talladega a couple of years ago when driver Carl Edwards car was hit and ended penetrating the catch fence there.  Several fans were injured in that incident too.  What made the Daytona accident so bad is that the front wheels were sheared off and catapulted into the stands.  The sheer impact of the debris flying off from these cars can cause serious injury to any fans unlucky enough to be in those lower seats.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:28:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Morning, eeff (5+ / 0-)

      Yes, what a scare for those fans.  It rained pretty hard here last night, but it's stopped now.  Weatherguesser says it's moving southward.  Hope Daytona can stay dry.

      Have a great day.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:00:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Holy Moley! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, eeff, JaxDem, DaNang65, Joy of Fishes

      That sent a cauliflowered wheel up into the stands!

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:10:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Early NASCAR (6+ / 0-)

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:12:39 AM PST

  •  Good morning JaxDem and MOTlies (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, eeff, BOHICA, DaNang65, gulfgal98

    Freezing fog!  

    THIS MORNING: PATCHY FREEZING FOG POSSIBLE.
    TEMPS IN THE TEENS AND 20S

    THIS AFTERNOON: MOSTLY SUNNY AND SEASONAL.
    HIGH: 33

    Sunny and 33 are downright tropical.  I intend to have a long walk this afternoon.

    Dwell on the beauty of life. ~ Marcus Aurelius

    by Joy of Fishes on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:18:28 AM PST

  •  Good Morning eeff, &MOTleys! (6+ / 0-)

    The newspaper's reporting 40* now with a high of 50* for Tucson today, looks like 33* by midnight tonight. Daytimes will be warmer by next weekend for the race in Phoenix.

    “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

    by DaNang65 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:39:25 AM PST

  •  an unlikely NASCAR link is to the Rocky Mountain (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, eeff, gulfgal98, Joy of Fishes

    Elk Association.

    The President and CEO of the RMEF, David Allen, directed marketing and sponsorships for the Dale Earnhardt/Richard Childress race teams and other NASCAR teams until Dale’s death in 2001 at the Daytona 500.

    The list of NASCAR drivers who have taken up elk hunting is too long to post. Suffice it to say that many have.

    Mr. Allen has done ok for the RMEF, brought an old stogy organisation of mostly volunteers into the next century with record numbers of new members every year.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:59:09 AM PST

    •  How interesting! I had no idea (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eeff, gulfgal98, Joy of Fishes

      of the NASCAR drivers' interest in Elk Hunting.  Pretty shrewd thinking by David Allen.

      Thanks for sharing this, ban nock.

      Hope you have a great Sunday.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by) (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, JaxDem, webranding, BOHICA, Joy of Fishes

    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)
    ZOOM (swivels head to watch cars go by)

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:19:29 AM PST

  •  Good Morning all! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, JaxDem, Joy of Fishes, webranding

    No rain here in Tallahassee right now, but boy did we have a frog strangler here the last two days.  I just checked the forecast and they are predicting rain again tonight.  We have needed rain, but not all in one fell swoop.  

    I have already posted about the bad accident in yesterday's Nationwide race at Daytona up above.  I am hoping that today's race is not a wreck em up.  Contrary to popular belief, us true fans do not like wrecks.  We do like passing though.  It seems as these new Gen6 cars are looser than the old COT.  Loose equals fast, so let's hope cooler heads prevail today.  

    My pick today...it's a crap shoot and often the best car does not win at Daytona or Talladega.  Based upon his patience and driving style, Kevin Harvick is always a good choice.  He usually waits late to make his moves and stays out of trouble most of the race which is what you have to do at a restrictor plate track.  Other picks have to include Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth or Tony Stewart.  I am a Junior fan and would love to see Junior win today but I am not gonna jinx him by picking him.

    Finally, Danica will not win.  In fact, I doubt if she will lead the first lap.  Danica needs to stay out of trouble and get seat time.  She needs to bring the race car home in one piece too.  Just my $.02.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:43:43 AM PST

    •  I don't watch the NASCAR races, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding

      for several years I have followed Greg Biffle's standings.  He has boxer dogs and his Foundation supports humane societies and animal shelters.  

      In the photo you can see his two boxers and the one boxer mix.  That boxer mix looks exactly like my little Lizzie.  I adopted her last spring shortly after my oldest boxer, Sally, died.  She was 4 and had been found running loose so they had no personal info on her.  Since adopting her I discovered through her behavior that she had been abused by a male.  It took her many months to feel "safe" here and to trust me.  Just yesterday I gave the two dogs a bath and she still trembles when it's bath time.  Every now and again when I approach her she will tremble in fear.  It's heartbreaking.

      Keeping my fingers crossed for Greg Biffle this season!

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:59:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd Like To See Danica Win (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, roberb7

      if for no other reason then "girl power."

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:00:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OH I Am A Dude (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem

        but my mom was a strong, strong women. She taught me to embrace women. Strong women. Maybe one of the best things ever done for me.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:03:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me, too! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem

        I just had to post this.

        Got a question for any NASCAR expert who reads this. I've read that the Sprint Cup has a new car design this year, called Generation 6. Did this design give an (unexpected) advantage to Patrick, and perhaps Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman as well? Or did Stewart-Haas Racing do a better job of adapting to the new design?

        •  I have no clue, but (0+ / 0-)

          the ones to ask are eeff, gulfgal and perhaps Otteray Scribe.

          As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

          by JaxDem on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:22:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mornin' JD and MOTs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, roberb7

    Nice and sunny here this morning but the thermal energy detection unit only registers 15.6° at this moment. The widget on the computer says 8° but I'm not sure where that's at, some airport nearby.

    I'm not a big fan of the current incarnation of NASCAR, I liked it better back in the early days when it was less like the current NFL. The sanctioning body seems to have a little too much control over nearly every aspect now, but without the revenue sharing that allows small market NFL teams to compete. It seems to me that now only "The Friends of Willard" can really afford to play (I heard that's a new radical religious extremist group, but I don't trust the sourcing).

    Hope everyone has a good Sunday!


    - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
    - Frank Zappa


    by rudyblues on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:16:31 AM PST

    •  Good Morning, rudy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rudyblues

      15.6° or 8° -- either way, it's cold.  

      Friends of  Williard, huh?  Nothing at all like the old FOB - Friends of Bill (Clinton) I'm betting.  We shall have to keep an ear to the ground on further developments!

      Stay warm today.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site