Call Of Duty Big-Time Catch Up Work (New Maps & Stuff)

Posted by imelda sovzky on Thursday, June 30, 2011

But first, I posted a conclusion to the Sonic Stadium crisis here...

June 28th, a new Call of Duty map pack came out.  Of the MP maps, my favorite is Hazard because it's set in a golf course.  Golf courses in an FPS game...wish I had made a CS map of that before (I was about to but I got lazy).  On the other hand, the rest of the maps (Hangar 18, Silo, Drive-In) are not as colorful and thus aren't as memorable to me.

Wow, I gotta tell you, it's nice to see some color saturation for once...

I also discovered something fun about Call of Duty: Black Ops and that is you can play against bots offline.  Originally I thought this was just an online thing but no, you don't need to connect to the Internet to do this.  Just go to the MP menu, click Local, Split-Screen, then Edit Game Options and set how many friends & enemy players you want (any players not human are replaced by bots) as well as their difficulty.  Click on Create a Class and you have EVERYTHING from MP unlocked already, including Gold Camo.  Go to Killstreaks, click Y to clear them out, then pick which three you want.  You can pick any game mode you want but the catch is you can only play Core (not Hardcore) nor can you dictate what weapons/perks the bots use.  Just try it out...fool around with any weapon you's quite cool if your internet is as inconsistent as mine...  EDIT: Bots only work in Team Deathmatch and Free-for-all...not like anyone wants to play other game modes offline.

Oh yeah, I also figured out how to upload Black Ops clips (unfortunately under 30 sec only) directly to YT without need for capture cards.   I got plenty of lame-o sniper montages, but this is a kill-cam I got a long time ago, check this bad boy out while sniping with teh AWP...


Now for Zombies.  There was also this new zombie map called Shangri-la which takes place in a jungle and is sort of Temple of Doom-ish...  This and the previous zombie map (Call of the Dead) all have massive Easter eggs similar to that of Ascension.  The difference is these Easter eggs have been found a DAY after the map packs were released.  Which basically means as soon as people get the maps, they hit the ground running and solve whatever mysteries there are right away.  Well, CotD and Shangri-la have achievements for solving these eggs so that served as an incentive to find out...

Get along, Sonny Jim...  You NEED four players to do this.  Your reward for doing this "trick": a rock that gives one player gets all seven perks permanently (if he's downed, he still keeps em).  You can do this four times for all four players...which is very time consuming of course.

PROFANITY.  You get the Wunderwaffe (can't switch weapons or PaP it) when you do this.  Notice the story arc--the guys send the crew (Dempsey, Nikolai, Richtofen, Takeo) to "Paradise" which happens to be the next zombie map, Shangri-la.  We still don't know what happened to that Gersch guy you saved in Ascension.  Bear in mind that this is just the single-player walkthrough...the multiplayer achievement has a few more steps included.

I'm willing to bet that there will be one more Black Ops map pack with a new zombie level set in Area 51.  It'll be based off the Hangar 18 MP map.  Remember in Der Riese that there was the radio transmission about the "Nevada base"?  Bingo, there's your last zombie map coming out this fall before MW3.  I also hope for some MP maps in Vietnam...I miss Ice Cube and the MAC SOG gang, ya herd...

I gotta tell ya...that's one hella tight movie poster.

About actual zombies gameplay, well Call of the Dead is practically broken now (with 2-4 players anyway)--click here to see how to get to "infinite" rounds.  You need a ton of patience--just wait until all the zombies are together, use the VR-11 to give your partner Insta-Kill powers, then have him use explosives to take out the crowd at once.  Over and over again.  Shangri-la is a much tougher zombies map because the level is entirely close-quarters so you have no room to run.  Even with Juggernog and the PaP Raygun, it's hard to survive by yourself...

I was playing zombies solo and I made it to Round 32 on Kino der Toten and 34 on Ascension (will get pics later).  Not the best but pretty good...

My advice is to use little guns, preferably the MPL, MP5, and AK-74, until you get settled in with your four perks.  Keep hitting the boxes until you get both the Pack-a-punched Ray Gun and the Thundergun.  The Galil, AUG, Commando, RPK, and HK-21 are good second-tier guns in the meantime.  Gotta keep moving around the map and DON'T STOP no matter what.  Both time I died, I was holding the Ray Gun and got wedged in and couldn't kill the zombie fast enough to get out.

DON'T EVER let the zombies wedge you in anywhere.  You get stuck, you're dead.  You gotta be like Reggie Bush--the good kind that scores TD's, not the one that backpedals for negative gains.  Open areas are your friend.  By round 30, the zombies take forever to kill with the Ray Gun so just stick with the Thundergun to pry your way through tough spots.  Try to navigate in a way that the zombies lump together then blast as many with one Thundergun shot or lead them into a trap.

In Kino, I would run circles around the level.  Except about every three circles, I hop in the teleporter (with all the zombies right behind me) to the projector room and toss as many nades from up there to soften up large crowds of zombies.  In Ascension, just run to the lander by Speed Cola, wait then escape, run to the lander by Stamin-Up, wait then escape, rinse and repeat.  Both levels, you want to take in as much money as you can so you can spend it on traps when you're in dire situations such as when you're out of ammo.  Be patient and don't waste ammo or do anything stupid.

I got a Pack-a-punched Galil with a pink brain as a reticle...trippy as balls man.  You can't use this in MP which is very STOOOOOPID.  More strange PaP reticles here.
I got bored and laid down a bunch of Claymores in a corner each round...there's a lot of em there.

I'm watching you . . .


And I want to let you in on some MW3 spoilers.  The single-player story has already been leakedMILD SPOILERS: You play as some American soldier named Frost (another dumb 5-letter nickname) who liberates Manhattan and London from Russian forces.  The Russian president flies over to sign a peace treaty, but he is kidnapped by Makarov's men for the purpose of retrieving nuke codes.  Then there's some levels in France and Germany.  Then Soap and Price hunt down Makarov and kill him.  The end, you have no need to play this game now.

Then again, that's what I said last year about Black Ops.  I really don't want to get into another CoD game, Black Ops is fine by me!  Let the noobs and the YouTube commentators go whore out MW3.  Until then kiddies, be sure to attend the Call of Duty convention!  Hey it could be worse, they could make a World of Warcraft conven--oh wait, there is one like that already.

EDIT: By the way, I don't give a damn about Battlefield so don't mention it.
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Notebook: Busch comes prepared to discuss separation from wife

Posted by imelda sovzky

Notebook: Busch comes prepared to discuss separation from wife
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(June 30, 2011)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—When questions about his personal life came up during his media availability Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, Kurt Busch was ready.
Busch acknowledged that he and his wife Eva are separated and seeking to end their marriage. The split, which was known in racing circles, was reported after Busch was accompanied at Sunday's Sprint Cup event by Patricia Driscoll.
Busch's victory at Sonoma brought Driscoll's presence in victory lane—and Eva's absence—into sharper focus. Anticipating possible questions about his marital status, Busch brought a prepared statement to his question-and-answer session with reporters and read from his notes when the subject was broached.
"I appreciate the fact that, until now, the media has been extremely professional in respecting the privacy of my personal situation with Eva and I," Busch said. "And although those in the NASCAR community have been aware for some time now that we are no longer together and that we are legally separated. …
"While we go through this process, it's been tough. In the upcoming weeks, we'll work at formally terminating our marriage. But we do so with most respect for each other, and we'll always be friends. So with that, I'm happy to answer any questions about the racing side of it. It's just the personal side is just that."
Judging from the statistics, personal issues haven't affected Busch's skills behind the wheel. Though the victory in Sonoma was his first of the season, Busch won poles for the three events immediately prior to the Infineon race.
"As I've said, performance on the track is always the best antidote for putting all that aside," Busch said.
Busch has been married to Eva (maiden name Bryan ) since 2006. They have no children. Busch did not characterize the nature of his relationship with Driscoll in Thursday's media session.
Harvick: Handshake doesn't end issues
Though Kyle Busch said there was nothing more than met the eye, Kevin Harvick still doesn't know what to make of last Sunday's post-race handshake at Infineon Raceway.
Busch climbed from his car, walked over to Harvick and extended his hand, simultaneously congratulating Harvick on a good race. With a quizzical look on his face, Harvick shook Busch's hand.
Strange behavior for two drivers who were involved in a post-race row May 7 at Darlington and drew five weeks probation for their respective offenses—Harvick for climbing from his car and attempting to punch Busch through his car window, Busch for pushing Harvick's car into the pit-road wall.
Handshake or no handshake, Harvick said his issues with Busch remain unresolved.
"I wouldn't call it good to go on that (after the handshake)," Harvick said. "I mean, we raced together for a lap and a half (at Infineon). I was as confused about all that as everybody else."
Busch said the handshake was a sincere expression of respect.
"I felt like we had a really good race with each other," Busch said. "So, just wanted to let him know that. We gave each other great room and raced each other hard and clean. And that's all there is to it. You all are reading way too much into things."
Denny Hamlin, Busch's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, doesn't need convincing.
"I would consider it genuine," Hamlin said. "Kyle is just not a ‘head games' type of guy."
Danica still coy about NASCAR plans
Despite persistent rumors that have Danica Patrick in NASCAR racing as a full-time Nationwide Series driver next year, Patrick herself says a deal isn't done.
She also left open a possible return to the IndyCar Series, where Patrick is running a full schedule this year while competing in selected Nationwide races.
"Obviously, I'm racing in NASCAR, and I've not made anyone wonder whether or not I like it," said Patrick, who will make her sixth Nationwide start of the season in Friday's Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona. "Other than that, these things—as I've said from the beginning of the year—are complicated, and they take time.
"Whether I'm coming here or not is yet to be signed, sealed and delivered—and might not be. Only time will tell, and that timeline on my side of things is. … I'm really not sure. All I know is that I just am told that I have a job to do in the car, and 'You do your job and we'll do our job,' and they fill me in from time to time, but it's still only July."
Patrick did say that the impetus for her decision will come from personal preference.
"It comes down to my gut and my desire and where I feel like I'll be the happiest and where I feel like I'll be able to have the most success, and then from those thoughts, my team explores the options," she said. "But it always starts with where I want to be."
Patrick, who scraped the wall in Thursday's rain-shortened practice session at Daytona, posted her best Nationwide finish to date March 5 at Las Vegas, where she ran fourth—the best-ever result for a female driver in any of NASCAR's top three national series.
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Nationwide Series Rain Delay At Daytona

Posted by imelda sovzky

Heavy afternoon rain has delayed the start of the first of two scheduled afternoon practice sessions Thursday for Nationwide Series teams at Daytona International Speedway.
Nationwide drivers were scheduled to begin practice at 2:30 p.m. for Friday’s Subway Jalapeno 250 race, but soaking rain was falling at that point.
A second Nationwide practice is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:25.
Sprint Cup drivers are scheduled to practice from 4 p.m. to 5:20 and from 6:35 to 8 p.m. for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400.
Practice schedules are likely to be modified extensively because of weather concerns.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalls one of the most emotional races in NASCAR history

Posted by imelda sovzky

Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalls one of the most emotional races in NASCAR history
By Matt Crossman
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(June 29, 2011)
Before Dale Earnhardt Jr. could race again at Daytona International Speedway after his father died there 10 years ago, he had to check the place out, see if he'd be overwhelmed, see if his cold memories there would consume him. The week before NASCAR returned to Daytona for the first time after the 2001 Daytona 500, he took some friends there, in part to show them the place but also to see how he felt. Like a man going ice fishing who isn't sure if the ice is thick enough to hold him, he stepped gingerly onto the grounds. The ice didn't crack. He didn't sink. He felt good. He found he still liked the place.
He didn't stay long. While he stopped by to see if he could handle being there, a security guard kicked him out. Ah, but he didn't care. He didn't need to hang out there, he needed to race there.
A few days later, he did—and nobody could catch him. After that humble return, he climbed into a blistering fast car and won the 2001 Pepsi 400. Ten years later, it remains one of the most emotionally satisfying wins in NASCAR history.
No one could catch Junior
"After Earnhardt lost his life, everybody was just completely crushed," said Rusty Wallace, who finished seventh in that July race. "And then when his own son went back and won there, it was the shot heard around the world and was just an amazing story."
The story started in the days leading up to the race, as all eyes were on Junior and how he would react upon returning to NASCAR's most famous and important track. He tried to treat it like any other weekend, and that meant having a good time.
"Back then, the schedule was different," he said. "We always had the week off before, which was awesome. Me and my friends would rent a house. We'd take as many people as we could, fill a Suburban, and just have a blast."
Earnhardt and his buddies spent the week lounging on the beach during the day and hitting the clubs at night. When the time for the race came, he was ready. He had a fast car. He had his crew of friends and family. And he had a climb-in, drive-fast, let's-win-this-thing zest that endeared him to legions of fans.
"I thought it was funny that I had a skull-and-crossbones sticker on the dashboard," Earnhardt said. "Budweiser got mad because it symbolizes poison, and it was sitting next to their logo. It was just a decal someone gave to me on pit road. I put it on there and took off before someone told me to take it off. Tony (Eury) Jr. (the team's car chief) came in halfway through the race and told me Budweiser wasn't happy with it. They wanted me to pull it off. I said, 'I can't reach it. It's way too far.'"
Nobody in the race could reach him, either. He led 116 laps of 160; the only thing that threatened to keep him out of victory lane was a late caution. Several teams gambled and took two tires, which dropped Earnhardt from the lead to sixth with six laps left.
"I hadn't been behind people, so I didn't know how my car would pass," he said. "I knew how it would lead. But I didn't know how quickly I could get back to the lead, if six laps would be enough. So I was in panic mode when the green came out, trying to make up those spots. The car did a lot of amazing things in those few laps, making passes and runs, everything just fell in place, like it was meant to be."
Junior held the lead coming off of Turn 4 on the last lap. In today's NASCAR, because of the way the draft has changed, leading in Turn 4 would not guarantee a win. But teammate Michael Waltrip was in second place protecting him. And back then, the lead was the place to be coming off of Turn 4.
His win set off a raucous celebration in the stands, in the infield and in victory lane, though the latter was delayed.
"I wasn't in any big hurry to go to victory lane and do the hat dance," Earnhardt said. "So I pulled into the infield. I knew my team would run out there. Michael came down there, and his team came down there."
'It felt good to feel good'
One of the enduring images from the night is Earnhardt and Waltrip standing on Waltrip's car. When the celebration moved to victory lane, Earnhardt was joined by his buddies and NASCAR officials, including NASCAR president Mike Helton, who five months earlier had announced the death of the father of the young man he now found himself celebrating with.
"It felt good," Helton said. "And it felt good to feel good."
Ten years later, much of the victory lane celebration is a blur for Junior. His favorite part of the whole weekend came later that night … or perhaps it was very early the next morning.
"For whatever reason, we decided not to be in a hurry to get home," he said. "So after the race we were standing around in the bus lot, drinking beers. I wasn't really taking huge stock in everybody who was there. But I knew my friends were there, and there were a couple people from my team, and a couple random bus drivers and whatnot. I had been standing there 10 minutes and I look to my right, and right next to me was Dale Jarrett, drinking a beer. I looked over and said, 'What are you doing here?'
"He said, 'I wouldn't miss this for the world, having a beer with you guys after that race.'
"That was the best part of the whole deal. At that point, I was still real young. You don't know how people perceive you. You don't know what other drivers think about you. For him to join in on the tiny little celebration we had going there, meant a lot to me. It was a hell of a gesture. I really gained a ton of respect for him. I leaned on him a bunch after that the rest of my career. When I needed to know something, he's one of the guys I went to immediately."
Meanwhile, fans poured out of the speedway, amazed at what they had just witnessed.
"It was an incredible turn of events," said Brian France, who at the time was executive vice president of NASCAR and now is its chairman and CEO. "It actually felt like, even though it was impossible to get, a little bit of closure from the tragedy that had just happened. It gave everybody a great feeling, that's for sure. The emotions of the fans leaving that night was one for the ages."
And it wasn't just fans. It is one of the few races in which other competitors have openly admitted they are glad someone else won.
"I was invited on a trip with several owners, and we went on it right after that race, and that was all they talked about," Wallace said. "They were so excited that he had won that race on the track where his father lost his life."
Ten years later
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has changed tremendously since that race. He was a young man finding his way then, still reeling from the public death of his father. He's fully grown now, as a driver, personality and icon of the sport. That win helped him rise to become NASCAR's most popular driver, a title he has held despite titanic struggles in recent seasons. He nearly won the championship in 2004 but has not been a factor since.
He joined Hendrick Motorsports before the 2008 season, but he has won only one points race driving the best cars in the industry, and a fuel mileage one at that. He has morphed from a driver overflowing with climb-in, drive-fast, let's-win-this-thing zest to one numbed by climb-in, no-chance, this-thing's-slow uncertainty.
But in recent weeks he has shown glimpses of that old Dale Jr. He has run up front, come close to winning a few races and is flashing confidence he hasn't shown in years. A win on Saturday night—which would end a 109-race winless streak and is a real possibility—would go a long way toward bringing the old Dale Jr. completely back, or at least as completely back as he's ever going to get.
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Write Ups On Scud Race, Sonic All-Stars Racing, TURBO: Check It Out...

Posted by imelda sovzky on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I found some dude's blogspot that's rather stellar if I say so myself.  Hey look, check out these articles.  Unlike certain Sonic-obsessed individuals, I'm not going to call this "Bullsheeeeet." (censor bypass??)

Scud Race: Basically Daytona USA in "Model3 clothes."  He does say a few things I disagree with--one is that Scud Race & Daytona 2 only have four-players max.  I don't believe this because I saw a D2 six-player setup myself though that was a looong time ago and my memory is a bit foggy.  And we have pictures like this:

Somehow, if there's something "wrong" with this, I would sure like to know since I haven't seen proof that the Scud Race & Daytona 2 games are capped at four players max.  I mean, why would they put eight D2 seats next to each other if they can only play four players max?  And we also know that Virtua Racing has 8-players too, check this out.

He also says that Scud Race lacks physics which is semi-true--it's not realistic but certainly a lot more captivating & challenging than many other racers.  But it's a positive read.  Nice to see some Supermodel emulator footage.  Good to know there's a couple of people out there playing it and being able to get a glimpse of model3 goodness...

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Now this write-up isn't positive since it has a problem with all the Sonic characters and the game's unoriginality (oh God not more Sonic characters crap).  Mentions no Daytona USA/Sega Rally/OutRun representation which I do agree should've been included.  I don't think this game's bad though despite it flaws such as no Shenmue tracks or anything.  A heck of a lot more fun than many racers today--fast paced and more balanced than Mario Kart Wii's online (which I played a lot of as well).  I disagree with his overall opinion but I respect it.  Read my original post on SaSASR here

An aside for SaSASR: I'm going to say this.  How come Mario & Nintendo get all these glorious collaborations but when Sega tries to do something similar in nature, it's put down upon.  Damn, SaSASR was a breath of fresh air compared to all this crap at the time.  That's why I give this game & Sumo Digital more credit than what meets the eye.

Turbo: Ah yes, this was my VERY FIRST RACING GAME.  See, I got trained by Sega racers at an early age--before Cruis'n USA, before Super Off-Road, before Microprose F1GP.  Used to visit the old arcade here and play this game!  This is exactly how I remember the game years ago:

This game came out in 1981 while Pole Position (lousy ass Namco, lol) came out in 1982.

Turbo actually boasts changing backgrounds and stuff, but ultimately the goal is the same--drive and don't hit the rival cars.  Keep going until you run out of time.  Not spectacular but it's super-old and paved the way for games like OutRun and Hang-On.  Believe it or not, Sega produced an even earlier racing game in 1980 called Monaco GP which is like a 2D version of this that is awfully reminiscent of Spy Hunter.  So basically, give Sega credit for being on the ball early with this racing business.

Anyway, give this guy's blog a look since he wrote up stuff on lots of video games.  See, I can post articles I disagree with without resorting to memes and name-calling!  Someone relay this memo to Sonic Stadium.
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This Season’s ‘Race To The Chase’ Especially Wild

Posted by imelda sovzky

This Season’s ‘Race To The Chase’ Especially WildBegins At Daytona International Speedway, Ends At Richmond International Raceway
· 10-Race Stretch Pivotal In Setting Field For ‘Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup’

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2011) – Over the next 10 races – aptly coined the Race to the Chase – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to run 2,603 laps totaling over 3,706 miles in the hopes of becoming part of one much smaller number: 12.
Though this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver field remains at 12, the makeup has changed a bit. After race No. 26, the top 10 drivers in the series standings will qualify for the 12-driver 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Spots 11 and 12 – the Wild Cards – go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20. Ties go to the driver with the highest points position.
Expect intensity boosts – and more than a few ‘wow’ moments – during this stretch, as the two Wild Card spots make for a drama-filled subplot during the playoff push.
But don’t forget the potential Chase bonus points. After race No. 26, all 12 Chase drivers will have their points reset to 2,000, but only the top 10 drivers earn three bonus points for each win tallied over the course of the regular season.
Ten unique tracks make up this vital portion of the upcoming schedule, and the roster befits the importance. No two tracks are alike, be it in distance or in layout.
A rundown of the upcoming 10 tracks, a list that includes some of the most historic and interesting venues in motorsports:
Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile restrictor-plate race): “The World Center of Racing” hosts the first summer event on the newly-repaved surface. Last February’s Daytona 500 set track records for leaders (74) and lead changes (22). Wild Card Implication: In only his second career start, youngster Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in February. This one’s truly anybody’s win.
Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval): Long awaited, and much anticipated, this is the debut of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at the popular Midwestern track. Wild Card Implication: This race, by definition, is a wild card in itself. No history equals anybody’s guess.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway (one-mile oval): A preview of the second Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event. Wild Card Implication: There have been six different winners in the last six races.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval): Ever since the series’ inaugural race at the legendary track in 1994, the Brickyard 400 was immediately slotted as one of the sport’s “Crown Jewels.” Wild Card Implication: Defending champion Jamie McMurray likely needs a Wild Card-spot to land a Chase berth. Same goes for his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, who has run well there – and boasts an Indianapolis 500 victory.
Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile triangle): Simply put, there’s no track like it in NASCAR racing. Three unique turns give way to three straightaways of varying length. Wild Card Implication: Denny Hamlin, currently in 11th, has four Pocono victories. Another would likely lock him into the Chase.
Watkins Glen International (2.45-mile road course): One of two road courses on the series schedule (and the only one during the Race to the Chase), new faces often appear in The Glen’s Victory Lane. Wild Card Implication: Montoya won last year’s event. Also, road-course savvy Marcos Ambrose could immediately become a Chase contender with a victory.
Michigan International Speedway (2-mile tri-oval): Wide open and multi-grooved, the visit to the Irish Hills of Michigan often results in big passing numbers. Wild Card Implication: Four of the last five races have been won by drivers currently outside the top 10 (Denny Hamlin, two; Brian Vickers and Mark Martin, one apiece).
Bristol Motor Speedway (.533 oval): The first of two short tracks during the Race to the Chase, the “Bristol Night Race” is considered one of the must-see-live events for any sports fan. Wild Card Implication: Tight Bristol confines could wreck – literally – any contender’s chances.
Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile tri-oval): Considered one of the fastest tracks in the series, this race has become an anticipated Labor Day tradition. Wild Card Implication: The last two winners of the Labor Day Weekend event – Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart – both currently sit outside the top 10.
Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile tri-oval): It all comes down to this, the Chase cut-off race. Once the checkered flies, the 12-driver Chase field will be set. Wild Card Implication: This one occasionally comes down to an all-or-nothing strategy. That blueprint should be the case again – even more so – with the Wild Card in play.
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Posted by imelda sovzky

Nothing like a restrictor-plate race to fuel a number of budding rivalries sparked at Infineon Raceway.
Some marquee drivers fired off a few verbal salvos during post-race interviews at Infineon on Sunday, leading to amped up interest – and intensity – going into the often rugged night race at Daytona International Speedway.
A few of the fresh grudge matches: Tony Stewart vs. Brian Vickers; Brad Keselowski vs. Juan Pablo Montoya; Kasey Kahne vs. Montoya. Tack that onto the slow simmer of Kyle Busch vs. defending race champion Kevin Harvick, and this Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola doubles in drama.
This weekend’s night racing action begins on Friday night with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race – the Subway Jalapeno 250.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has one more open week before hitting to Kentucky Speedway on July 7.
Storylines follow…
Race To The Chase
Only 10 races remain before the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set. In other words, it’s go-time.
Aside from the built-in importance of this upcoming portion of the schedule, the 10 tracks which make up the “Race to the Chase” are some of the most unique and historic in NASCAR.
Consider a few: Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Bristol Motor Speedway and, the final stop, the Chase cut-off race at Richmond International Raceway.
Winners List Expands With Busch Win
Kurt Busch’s win at Infineon Raceway grew the balanced victors list to 11 different winners in the first 16 races. That’s the most different winners through 16 races since 2003.
Busch checked off the elusive “road-course win” from his list, and now looks to nab a restrictor-plate race win – also a style he has yet to conquer in a points event.
His best finish at Daytona was second in the 2003, ’05 and ’08 Daytona 500s. He won this year’s preseason Gatorade Duel at Daytona and Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.
Wild Weekend For Wild Cards
Marquee drivers up-and-down the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will likely need a Wild Card nod to make the Chase.
After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 10 drivers in points are locked into the 12-driver Chase field. Spots 11 and 12 go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20.
Currently, Denny Hamlin, in 11th, would grab the first Wild Card spot, with his lone victory (at Michigan).
Two other drivers outside the top 10 have wins: Brad Keselowski and Regan Smith, but both are outside the top 20. Keselowski sits 22nd, 12 points outside the top 20. Smith is 28th, 59 points out of the top 20.
Add Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart to the “Wild Card Watch” this weekend. Both have multiple wins at Daytona, and both are outside the top 10.
New Surface, Big Competition
Saturday’s race will be the first Daytona night race run on the new surface. If the first Daytona 500 run on the new surface is any indication, it could be a record-setting event.
Two major track records were broken during the Daytona 500. There were 74 lead changes and 22 leaders in February, the most ever at DIS. The highs for a 400-miler at Daytona: 49 lead changes (1974) and 18 leaders (2010).
Triumphant Daytona Return For Bayne…Maybe
Just over four months ago, Trevor Bayne made history. In becoming the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500, Bayne immediately etched his name in NASCAR lore.
But this weekend, he may not even be in the race.
Bayne’s Wood Brothers team, which competes in a partial schedule, ranks 36th in owner points – outside the top 35, which would guarantee Bayne a spot in Saturday night’s event.
He’ll have to race his way in during Friday’s qualifying session.

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Inducts Eighth Class This Week

Posted by imelda sovzky

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Inducts Eighth Class This Week

June 27, 2011

BURBANK, Calif. – Ten motorsports figures from historic and modern eras will be recognized Friday (July 1) when the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inducts its eighth class at Azusa Greens Country Club in Azusa, Calif.

The ceremonies, which begin at 5:30 p.m. (PDT), will bring membership in the Hall to 103.

Six inductees from the historic era – whose achievements came prior to 1970 – are Marvin Burke, Pittsburg, Calif.; Louis "Lou" Mangini, Walnut Creek, Calif.; Chuck Parko, Whittier, Calif.; Al Schmidhamer, Portland, Ore.; George Seeger, Whittier and Chuck Stevenson, Sydney, Mont. and Garden Grove, Calif.

Burke, Seeger and Stevenson all excelled as drivers; Schmidhamer as a car owner and Parko as car owner, crew chief and mechanic. All but Parko and Schmidhamer are deceased.

Four inductees from the modern era are Cary Agajanian, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz.; Joe Ruttman, Upland, Calif. and Tim Williamson, Seaside, Calif.

Agajanian is a longtime promoter, car owner and driver agent whose father, J.C. Agajanian, was inducted with the Hall’s inaugural class in 2002. Ruttman’s older brother Troy, a winner of the Indianapolis 500, was enshrined in the same class as the elder Agajanian. Ruttman was the 1980 U.S. Auto Club Stock Car champion and won 13 times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – all past the age of 50.

McCluskey, who died in 1993, was the 1969-70 USAC Stock Car champion as well as the 1973 USAC Championship Car champion and an 18-time Indianapolis 500 starter. Williamson, who died in a 1980 accident at Riverside International Raceway, was a standout dirt competitor and a rookie of the year in the K&N Pro Series West.

The Hall, founded in 2001, memorializes significant contributors to the sport’s development and history – including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and
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I Am The Poster Of Bulls*** (Response To Sonic Stadium)

Posted by imelda sovzky on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

EDITEDITEDIT on 7/1: Fixed the report an have my final words to say at the bottom.

I checked my traffic sources and saw that my Sonic Quality post was linked to by Sonic Stadium (a message board).  So I go to check it out but the link's gone.  Someone posted to it in this "shoutbox" thing and it must've fallen off the list by the time I found it.  So I assumed it was all good.

Then I find another link and this is the conversation that transgressed:


VEDJ-F's Photo

VEDJ-F  Just found this bulls*** via Google.

Jun 27 2011 11:26 PM
Nepenthe's Photo
Nepenthe  Jun 27 2011 11:27 PM
I read the question then closed the link.
KCG's Photo
KCG  Jun 27 2011 11:27 PM

I can't even be mad.
Attitude Adjustment's Photo
Attitude Adjustment  Jun 27 2011 11:28 PM
I read the whole thing.

*facepalms at the "analysis"*
Nepenthe's Photo
Nepenthe  Jun 27 2011 11:29 PM
Why do you guys torture yourselves?
Tatsumaki's Photo
Tatsumaki  Jun 27 2011 11:31 PM
Tab closed. :3
Mr. NinjaShark's Photo
Mr. NinjaShark  Jun 27 2011 11:31 PM
He counts E-10000G and E-10000R as seperate characters, yet the Super Forms aren't?

Cero's Photo
Cero  Jun 27 2011 11:34 PM
What the fuck did I just skim over
Negato's Photo
Negato  Jun 27 2011 11:36 PM
@NinjaShark: they are different characters, the E-10000R is the leader of the bunch and he even has some bits of Metal Sonic in him. (literally)
Gartocer's Photo
Gartocer  Jun 27 2011 11:37 PM
Skull Leader's Photo
Skull Leader  Yesterday, 04:05 PM
Invalid the moment he used ratings since those usually are very subjective and can vary from person to person. Then again even Sonic-only games can flop harder than the ones with multiple characters (*cough*Sonic 4*cough*)

Well, I didn't think my post was that bad.  A bit aloof, yes, but not the worst I've seen.  Hmm, let me mention a few things first with that study.  First of all, I like Sonic games.  This wasn't meant to "bash" Sonic in any way.  I thought this was a "fun" study, something that would be interesting for me and others to see.  I don't get why there's a need to be mad or anything.  I don't hate extra characters.  As a matter of fact, I made this report with the inclination of disproving this notion of more characters = worse game.  It's supposed to be like a science report--think of a question, do research, come up with an unbiased answer (albeit a vague one); that's it.

Second, about the ratings.  Yes, I know that you really can't tell the absolute quality of a Sonic game so that's why I took the average ratings of a large pool of was the closest to a game's score I could come up with.  Are the scores perfect?  No, but they're as close as I could feasibly get.  If you don't like the scores, come up with your own methods.

Have the guts to say this to my face.  I leave my comments open to anybody--you don't need a Google account or the ability to read those annoying verify letters.  I ask for as much feedback as possible for all my posts.  You don't like it, okay, but offer some improvement other than "idiot" and *facepalm*.  Both E-1000's should count as two characters, okay.  Sorry I haven't sat there and played through every Sonic game so that I could know that the E-1000's are more than just palette swaps.  And when I do criticize other peoples' articles, at least I give a rebuttal as to why I do.

Well, this is what you get for posting material online--others go at your throats over it.  This is what makes the Internet go around.  To quote the guy, "I can't even be mad."  I'm glad to have wasted your time with my article, couldn't have happened to a better group of pinheads.   I want to make nice for this apparently "offensive" material; we can't have people hating on me now, can we?

See?  I ain't even mad, now back to Black Ops KILLIN ZOMBIES!!!


7/1 Update: Alright, I got to the bottom of this nonsense.  Didn't get much of an "apology" but I realize what I did wrong with the report.  My conclusion was lazily crafted and I partially blamed the Sonic characters for the series' "demise."  I admit culpability there because after crunching all the numbers and banging out that graph, I became very tired and just winged the data interpretation & conclusion altogether.  While it sounds like I'm caving into the demands of a couple of Sonic fangirls, I agree that I screwed up a bit.

On the other hand, you have to realize that these are big-time Sonic fans who come from a message board that makes a big deal out of Sonic couple pairings (and My Little Pony) so of course they're going to violated if I make even the slightest bad remarks towards Sonic characters.  So even if my conclusion was dead on in the first place, it's going to draw ire from somebody.  Great, now I expect similar hate mail from 1-Up/Sonic I let stupid characters like Big and Silver off the hook...what a crap study, they'll say.

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Race To The Chase: Time To Get Moving

Posted by imelda sovzky

Race To The Chase: Time To Get MovingReality of the NASCAR 26-race regular season sets in, and the fall-back motto of “It’s still early” goes away quickly. And right now, it’s gone.
This portion of the season can be described as the “playoff push.” Officially, it’s coined “The Race To The Chase.”
Drivers need to take advantage of the few opportunities left in this regular season. Only 10 races remain between now and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
These 10 races – at 10 different tracks – provide a unique blend for competitors and fans. Some of the most unique and historic venues are represented. Some highlights: Daytona, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Bristol – the list goes on.
Wild Card fever will likely sweep the garage – and fans’ consciousness – during this critical portion of the schedule.
After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 10 drivers in points are locked into the 12-driver Chase field. Spots 11 and 12 go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20.
Each contender is a potential storyline unto himself.
Tony Stewart: Currently 12th, Stewart owns the top average Driver Rating at the upcoming 10 tracks (102.5). Overall, he has 22 wins at the upcoming 10 tracks, second only to Jeff Gordon’s 35 among drivers in the top 20.
Denny Hamlin: A 37th-place finish dropped him outside the top 10. But the stay shouldn’t linger – Hamlin has nine wins and a Driver Rating of 99.4 at the upcoming 10 tracks.
Greg Biffle: Now 13th, Biffle has five wins and 54 top 10s at the next 10 tracks.
Juan Pablo Montoya: A couple of wins over the next 10 races isn’t out of the question. He won last year’s race at Watkins Glen, has a runner-up at Indianapolis and three top 10s at Daytona.
Jamie McMurray: A two-time winner at Daytona, McMurray has to make up 55 points to get into the top 20.
A key storyline from outside the top 20 is worth noting…
Brad Keselowski: With a win, he’s an immediate Wild Card contender. Now he needs to land in the top 20 – he’s currently 22nd, 12 points out.

Numbers Continue To Soar Heading To DISKurt Busch’s victory at Infineon Raceway ballooned the number of different winners this season to 11 in the first 16 races, the most since 2003.
Races at Daytona, much like the 2011 season, have offered a varied list of victors. There have been seven different winners in the last seven races.
Competition numbers – both this season and at Daytona – have been likewise robust. Check out some of the notable bullets from this season:
• Average of 13 leaders per race, most through 16 races in series history
• Average of 30 leaders per race, most through 16 races in series history
• 8 races with a margin of victory under one second, including Talladega, which tied for the closest finish (.002 seconds) since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993.
• 42 different drivers have led at least one lap.
• 30 different drivers have scored at least one top 10 finish.
February’s Daytona 500 set track records in both leaders (74) and lead changes (22).

Pressure To Perform Much Greater For Daytona 500 Winner Bayne
Trevor Bayne came to Daytona International Speedway for February’s Daytona 500 with a soon to be 20-year-old rookie’s modest goals: run all the laps, stay out of trouble and post the best possible finish.
Bayne of course did much, much more than that, becoming the youngest winner of NASCAR’s biggest race in just his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, going from virtual unknown to stardom in just under four hours.
For Bayne – fairly or unfairly – the pressure is on to prove he belongs in the upper echelon of contenders to win Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola. Was February’s performance a matter of skill meeting opportunity or the randomness of right place, right time?
In February, his Wood Brothers team had a guaranteed owner spot in the Daytona 500. That won’t be the case this week. Bayne must make the field on speed, always a roll of the dice proposition in which factors outside the driver or team’s control – say a cut tire – can be the difference between racing and going home.
Since then, Bayne’s season has been one of extremes. Health issues, which sidelined Bayne from competition for more than a month, and his team’s part-time schedule haven’t produced any sort of rhythm.
In the eight races following Daytona, Bayne has logged three top-20 finishes, his best a 16th in the team’s most recent start several weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway. He’s finished three of nine races on the lead lap.

Grudge Matches and Milestones
Last week’s race at Infineon Raceway offered up a number of storylines that beg further dissecting and a deeper look.
A few of them…
New Feuds: Fender bending was the name of the game, and that trend should continue this weekend at Daytona. Bump drafting at restrictor plate tracks demand trust-filled partnerships. Teammates, obviously, often pair up. But odd duos often emerge – the prime example at the Daytona 500 was Jeff Gordon and youngster Trevor Bayne. Strategic buddy system styles got blurred on Sunday, with a number of fresh feuds sparked, namely Tony Stewart vs. Brian Vickers; Brad Keselowski vs. Juan Pablo Montoya; and Kasey Kahne vs. Montoya. Of course, the Kyle Busch vs. defending Daytona race champion Kevin Harvick always lurks in the background.
Gordon’s Historic Win Nears: Even when he seems out of contention, Jeff Gordon’s talent and veteran savvy overcomes. Though a non-factor much of the day Sunday (he never led lap), Gordon finished second. His next win will be his 85th, putting him alone in third on the all-time list. It would also give him more wins than any other driver during NASCAR’s Modern Era (1972-Present), the period in the sport’s history when the race-schedule was decreased.
Burton Celebrates Milestone: Jeff Burton will become the 22nd driver to reach 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts this weekend. This season has been a difficult one for Burton, currently 24th in the points standings. A win would put the Richard Childress Racing veteran in the Wild Card discussion. He won the July Daytona race in 2000.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Etc. – DaytonaA few more milestones: Kevin Harvick will make his 375th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and Marcos Ambrose will be making his 100th series start. … Bubba the Love Sponge has been named the Grand Marshal and honorary pace car driver for the Coke Zero 400 this weekend. Prior to the race country music star Martina McBride will host an hour long concert starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. … Troops to the Track program with the Armed Forces Foundation at Daytona International Speedway will have a group of wounded warriors (Marines and a Navy medic) from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda out to the track. The guests will be treated to a variety of at-track related VIP experiences, including pace car rides, and meet and greets with Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, and Richard Childress Racing. … Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been nominated for two ESPY Awards for ‘Best Male Athlete’ and ‘Best Driver.’ Also Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne has been nominated for ‘Best Moment’ in sports this year. Fan voting for ESPY winners has begun. … If someone you know has shown extraordinary charity and kindness of spirit in working for kids in need, honor their efforts by nominating them for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award by visiting NASCAR.COM/Unites, calling 704.348.9683, or sending an email to … It’s the third straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. All four Medal of Honor recipients, Jon Cavaiani, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, Harold Fritz, retired U.S. Army Captain, Jack Jacobs, retired U.S. Army Captain, Leo Thorsness, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room. They will attend the drivers meeting and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 1, and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2.

Daytona’s Lure Brings Emphatic Call To Double Duty DriversAs many as seven full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will stack the already stout lineup this weekend, including two-time series champion Kevin Harvick (2001, ’06), and series champions Brad Keselowski (2010), Kyle Busch (2009), Carl Edwards (2007) and also six-time series Daytona International Speedway winner Tony Stewart.
It will be a true test for the series championship contenders to prove themselves amongst some of the best of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Seven points currently separate the top three drivers. Reed Sorenson, who won last Saturday at Road America, leads Elliott Sadler by five points and third-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by seven.
Standings leader Reed Sorenson has made eight series starts at Daytona posting one top five and four top 10s. Second-place, Sadler has made four series starts at Daytona posting his first career pole at the 2.5-mile speedway. Third-place, Stenhouse Jr. has made three starts at Daytona posting one top five and two top 10s. Stenhouse has the highest rank in pre-race Driver Rating among the championship contenders with an 89.1.
This event also marks the first anniversary of the inaugural race for the series’ new car, which was fully integrated this season following four points events at tracks of varying lengths in 2010. Dale Earnhardt Jr. electrified the Daytona crowd last July as he won the first new car race in the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet, the number and scheme made famous by his father.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Road Ahead to the Chase

Posted by imelda sovzky

After last week’s race at Sonoma, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has just ten races to officially secure his spot in the 2011 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Jr. went into Sonoma third in series points, 27 behind leader, Carl Edwards. On lap 38, Jr. was caught up in a seven-car wreck and finished 41st—his second DNF since 2009. The poor finish resulted in Jr. now being seventh in points, 65 points behind Edwards.

A 38-point swing may not sound like a whole lot to those outside the NASCAR world, but let’s put that into perspective by recapping the changes NASCAR made to the points/Chase format prior to the 2011 season:

Points The winner of the race earns 43 points, second-place finisher earns 42 points, third-place finisher earns 41 points, and so on. Last place finisher (43rd) earns one point. Three bonus points are awarded to the winner of each race, and a driver can earn one bonus point for either leading a lap or leading the most laps in any given race. 48 points is the most points a driver can earn in one race (wins the race, leads a lap, leads most laps).

Chase At the end of the first 26 races, the top ten drivers with the most points are locked into the Chase with the drivers seeded based on wins (three points for each win). Along with the top-10, there are two wild card spots. To earn a wild card spot, a driver must have more wins than any other driver and be within 11th and 20th in points. If no driver meets those criteria, regular season points will determine the two wild card positions.

It’s important to note that the new points system, while rewarding race winners much more than in the past, still rewards heavily to those drivers who finish well consistently. And consistency has been Jr.’s middle name this year: Three top-fives and eight top-tens in 16 starts.

With the new points system and Chase format, coupled with the stiff competition this year, the 38 points that Jr. lost in one race is a scary reality that no one really knows who’s in or out until the checkered flag at Richmond. Here’s a look at how Jr. has fared in the past at the upcoming 10 tracks that lead up to this year’s Chase:

The first of 10 races before the Chase is this weekend’s race at Daytona International Speedway. In February’s Daytona 500, Jr. sat on the pole but finished 24th due to a crash. He has two career wins at the famed track and finished fourth in this race last year. Jr. fans always look forward to seeing him run well at one of his favorite tracks. However, with the two-car drafting that has been so prevalent as of late, Jr. has become less-fond of the racing there and has bluntly said, “I’m not looking forward to going to Daytona, not with the way the drafting is there. But we’ll just have to see if we can get lucky out there.”

After Daytona comes the inaugural Cup event at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. With this being the first race there, it’s difficult to surmise how Jr. will do. Historically, and despite wins at Chicago and Texas, Jr. hasn’t had too much success at the 1.5-mile tracks. The two saving graces for Jr. are that it will be new to all the drivers in Cup cars—the only current Chase driver to drive a Cup car in Kentucky is Kevin Harvick who participated in a Goodyear tire test in June. The other saving grace is, of course, the leadership of Steve Letarte.

Next up will be Loudon, NH. Jr. has never won there, but finished eighth and fourth in the two Loudon races last year. Jr. could have possibly finished higher than fourth in the September race, but a pit road mishap had him scrounging for track position for much of the race.

The Brickyard is next. Jr. has an average finish of 22.2 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 11 starts, he has never scored a top-five and only two top-tens. Although he has put together decent runs there in the past, bad luck has always seemed to prevail in the form of wrecks or engine problems.

Pocono is next up on the schedule. Jr. has certainly struggled there in the past, but look for him to continue the upswing that he started in last June’s race when he finished sixth. After Daytona, Pocono is the second track of the next ten races that Jr. has been to earlier this year with crew chief Letarte on the pit box.

The second and last road course race of the year follows Pocono. After qualifying 40th, Jr. finished 26th at Watkins Glen last year.

Michigan will be the third track of the final ten races before the Chase that Jr. has been to with Letarte. Jr. was poised to earn another top-ten but finished 21st after being taken out of contention by teammate, Mark Martin. Jr.’s one win at Michigan was also his last Cup win (2008).

Short track racing at Bristol is next. Earlier this year, Jr. barely missed a top-ten and finished 11th. He won in 2004 and finished seventh and 13th at the two Bristol races last year. Jr. is always likely to run well at Thunder Valley, and his average finish of 11.5 proves it.

Atlanta is the second-to-last race before the Chase cutoff. Although Atlanta Motor Speedway is actually 1.54-miles in length, it’s often considered a 1.5-mile track. Jr. won at Atlanta in 2004 and finished 15th and 22nd there last year.

The last race before the Chase is at Richmond. Jr. finished 19th there earlier this year but should’ve finished much higher. A late-race caution in which many drivers pitted, Jr. stayed out and ultimately ran out gas.

Although he has some difficult tracks coming up before the Chase cutoff, Dale Jr. has a real shot at making the 2011 Chase. Jr.’s newly found confidence and the genius of Steve Letarte have been game changers for Jr. this year and are just two reasons that have fans excited and that should have the competition worried.
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