Friday, January 28, 2022

2022 Daytona 24 Hours - Prototype Class Previews

Welcome, everybody, to Blogathon 2022! Well, such as it might be this year, anyway. We're kind of throwing things together at the last minute this year, due to what can only be described as "A Lot Of Stuff Going On", for all of us here at GBS. As a result, it's not fore sure what all we're going to have for Blogathon events this year, but I plan on getting some abbreviated odds and class previews up here before the Daytona 24 Hours starts tomorrow. Circumstances have stepped in this week and prevented me from doing the daily posts with full class breakdowns, so with a little over 25 hours to the green flag (as I type this), I'm going to consolidate the GT classes into one post and the Prototype classes into another post. First up, in my usual "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)" order, it's.....

THE PROTOTYPE CLASSES! CONTROVERSY! Well, not really, I suppose. The GTD class has been my "most interesting class" the last couple years, and with there now being TWO GTD classes (more on this later), we've doubled our fun with the GT cars. Meanwhile, LMP3 and LMP2 are roughly as interesting (to me) as they've been in the past, and the DPi class only has seven cars again this year, so the Prototypes are first.

LMP3 Class


The Field Maker-Uppers:

#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - Two Bronze level drivers and one Silver = can't imagine this one winning. Odds - 15 to 1.


#26 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.


#7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and THREE Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#6 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers BUT also plus ex-Mazda factory driver Joel Miller = a better bet. Odds - 10 to 1.


#13 AWA Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two (experienced) Silvers BUT also plus ex-multiple factory team driver Kuno Wittmer = an even better bet. Odds - 8 to 1.


#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JSP320 - Half of the drivers are a Priaulx (Seb, Andy's kid) and a  Barbosa (Joao). We're getting to the pointy end now. Odds - 7 to 1.


The Front Runners 

#36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JSP320 - An Andretti (Jarrett), a front running Indy Lights driver (Rasmus Lindh) and longtime IndyCar/sports car driver Gabby Chaves. A near lock for a podium, as long as it's running at the end. Odds - 6 to 1.


#54 CORE Autosport Ligier JSP320 - The driver lineup is loaded with longtime sports car competitors Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, George Kurtz and Nic Jonsson, and the team has a zillion sports car wins in many different classes. This car will be in the mix for the win at the end. Odds - 5 to 1.


#74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - The defending champs. It'll come down to them and the CORE Ligier. Odds - 5 to 1.




LMP2 Class


The Field Maker-Uppers:

#69 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 15 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - The presence of former IndyCar driver Ed Jones and Audi factory driver Rene Rast gives this car the nod in the G-Drive stable. Odds - 10 to 1.


#29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.


#22 United Autosports ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.

The Front Runners

#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - The defending champs, with the entire 2021 driving lineup coming back to defend their title. They'll be in the conversation all day, night and day. Odds - 8 to 1.


#81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA LMP2 07 - Longtime sports car driver Eric Lux is joined by newcomer IndyCar driver Devlin Defrancesco and rising IndyCar stars Colton Herta and Pato O'Ward (who, don't forget, won an LMPC championship in IMSA only a few years ago). This car will be in the mix at the end. Odds - 7 to 1.


#11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - Half of the drivers are ex-Mazda factory driver Jonathan Bomarito and ex-multiple factory teams Harry Tincknell. Enough said. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - An incredibly experienced driver lineup, and they start on the class pole after winning the LMP2 class in the Roar Before qualifying race. They look like they might be the one to beat this year. Odds - 6 to 1.



DPi Class


The Pack:

#5 JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi -The only arguable weakness here is the presence of a Bronze driver (Ben Keating, going for an overall win to add to his 2015 GTD class win), but he's about as good of a Bronze as you're going to find. The rest of the lineup is beyond reproach, with Tristan Vautier being joined by Richard Westbrook for the season and Loic Duval on board for the enduros. Odds - 8 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi - The Meyer Shank guys struggled to come to grips with the Acura DPi last year, but should be closer to front running pace with a year of data in the notebook. Odds - 7 to 1.


#48 Ally Cadillac DPi - Finished 2nd here last year after missing juuuuuust a pinch of speed vs. the #10 Acura. It'll be in the top-5 for most of the 24 hours. Odds - 7 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi - The #31 Cadillac always runs at the front, and 2022 will be no different. Odds - 6 to 1.


#02 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The Ganassi guys have added a second car for 2022 and with an all-Platinum lineup, it should contend all day, night and day. Will it win, though? Hmmmmm.... Odds - 6 to 1.


#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi - The three time defending champs are going for their unprecedented fourth straight win.....but they're not the favorites?!?!? Hold that thought. Odds - 6 to 1.



The Favorite

#01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The #01 is jam packed with driving talent, with sports car ace Renger van der Zande being joined by drivers holding 11 IndyCar championships and 91 IndyCar race wins. To boot, Scott Dixon has won overall at Daytona FOUR times Sebastien Bourdais has won overall at Daytona twice. Yeah, I'm going with these guys as the favorites. Odds - 5 to 1.



OK, that's all of the Prototype classes done. Come back sometime in the next 24 hours for the GTD-Pro and GTD class previews before the green drops!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 24 Hour and Overall Results

 OK, so now that we at the Speedgeek household have gotten through our nightly tasks and the first half of "Full Out 2: You Got This!" (and it is well worth the time...), I've got a minute to do a rundown of the points scored at full distance and the totals for the entire race.

24 Hour Points:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 12 points)

2nd - #48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi (Allen - 8 points)

3rd - #55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi (Allen - 4 points)


1st - #18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 6 points)

2nd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 6 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 2 points)



1st - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 6 points)

2nd - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 4 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 2 points)



1st - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 1 point)



24 Hour Mark Points:

Allen - 32 points

Mike - 18 points

Andy - 9 points

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em Points Totals:

Allen - 61 points

Mike - 54 points

Andy - 30 points

Wow! A come from behind win for Allen, fueled by taking six of the nine points paying positions in the Prototype classes. That makes two years in a row for Allen. Not a bad job for a guy drafting from a hotel room on his phone and from memory!

Anyway, that's all for Blogathon 2021. Good times were had by all (I think, anyway, at least I had a good time). Thanks to everybody that stopped by. Here's hoping we all make it back here for more fun in 2022. Or maybe even before then. Or maybe not.

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - 24 Hour Report

 Just time for a quick update right now before real life beckons, but wow. While catching the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac suffered a flat tire with about eight minutes to go, leaving the WTR Acura to trot to the line for WTR's third straight Daytona 24 Hour win. Era Motorsport won the LMP2 class with the #18 "crayon car", Riley Motorsports won LMP3 with the #74 car, the Corvettes swept GTLM, with the #3 leading the #4 home, and the Winward Racing #57 Mercedes led a 1-2 Mercedes sweep with the #75 Sun Energy 1 car in 2nd (we'll mostly gloss over the fact that I gave both of those cars 100 to 1 odds to win...). OH, and Wayne Taylor just dropped an F-bomb from Victory Lane. What a day.

I'll have more later, with the Blogathon Pick 'Em final standings.

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - 22.5 Hour Report

We're down to the last 90 minutes of the race and we still have three classes fully up for grabs:


DPi -  The #10 Wayne Taylor Acura has led a TON of this race, and the #60 Meyer Shank Acura, the #55 Mazda, #01 Ganassi Cadillac and the #48 Action Express Ally Cadillac are all still within 15 seconds of the lead. This is going to go down to the wire.

GTLM - Both Corvettes, the #24 RLL BMW and the #62 Risi Ferrari are all on the lead lap.

GTD - The top-7 cars are all on the lead lap, with the 8th place #97 Aston Martin just a lap down. This is like a barroom brawl.

Meanwhile, the two classes that are less up for grabs:

LMP2 - The #18 and the #8 cars are separated by about a lap.

LMP3 - The #74 car has a four lap lead over the #33 car. OK, this one is basically over.

I'm going to settle in with a Rahr and Sons Brewing Winter Warmer (although it's like 40 degrees here in Oklahoma...yes, home of "Full Out 2: You Got This!".....we tell each other "you got this!" pretty much constantly in these parts) and watch the end. Buckle up!

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 18 Hour Results

I don't want to bury Mike's work with the annual Blogathon movie here (and make no doubt, from his comments, I'd say that he's clearly the one who's done the most work this weekend, just trying to make it through that "film"), so I'm going to post a link to that here. Really, go read Mike's recap of "Full Out 2: You Got This!" here. It's good.

OK, with that, we've passed the 18 Hour mark, so it's time for some more Blogathon Pick 'Em scores:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)

3rd - #31 Whelen Racing Cadillac DPi (Mike - 2 points)



1st - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 1 point) 



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 1 point)



1st - #21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 1 point)


18 Hour Mark Points:

Mike - 12 points

Allen - 10 points

Andy - 8 points


Totals After 18 Hours:

Mike - 36 points

Allen - 29 points

Andy - 21 points


So, Mike is pulling a pretty good gap on Allen and I'm going to have to have things really change big time to take advantage of points doubling for the 24 Hour mark. However, in the hour since these results posted, the #31 Whelen Cadillac has hit gearbox problems (they're still in the garage and have dropped to 10th overall) and the #01 Ganassi Cadillac has received a penalty for being in gear while up on jacks during a pitstop (dropping them to 4th in class overall). So....five hours left!

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #3

An Ode to Full Out 2: You Got This!


Cartwheels and flips are fantastic,
And you know, if I wasn't so spastic,
Then you'd hear all about
How I'm going full out
Every time that I'm doing gymnastics.

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 12 Hour Results

Good morning from Daytona! Or, rather, from home. As I write this, we're now approaching the 17 Hour mark and three of the five classes still have multiple cars on the lead lap and a fourth only has a one lap gap between 1st and 2nd in class (the fifth class, LMP3, is essentially down to only about three cars that have a shot at the win, unless those top three all hit problems...which could still happen because, you know, seven hours to go). This is still wide open and should be fascinating down the stretch, but for the sake of our Blogathon Pick 'Em game, let's take a look back at the midpoint of the race:


1st - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi (Allen - 4 points)

3rd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 2 points)



1st - #47 Cetilar Racing Dallara LMP2 (unclaimed)

2nd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points) 

3rd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 2 points)

3rd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 1 point)



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Andy - 1 point)



1st - #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)

2nd - #21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (unclaimed)

3rd - #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (unclaimed)


12 Hour Mark Points:

Mike - 11 points

Allen - 10 points

Andy - 5 points

Totals After 12 Hours:

Mike - 24 points

Allen - 19 points

Andy - 13 points

And now we're only about 45 minutes away from the next scoring opportunity at the 18 Hour mark. We'll be back here in a bit for that.

GBS at the Movies - Full Out 2: You Got This!








At 8:30 a.m. EST, I'll be live-blogging another definite classic film, Full Out 2: You Got This! You can watch along on Netflix if you're around this morning, or just stop by later for all my thoughts on this new blockbuster.


OK, starting NOW! Let's go Full Out!


 I'm officially going full out now. And the university of Oklahoma looks bigger than my hometown.


So, I bet at some point, someone will NOT be going full out. And it's likely that a whole group of people will not be going full out. And then some coach will be like, "Guys! You need to go Full Out!" And then they will. And then they'll be better at the gymnastics stuff.


This dance teacher (or something) just said she WON'T make them go full out. I'M SORRY, WHAT? Dance sucks then. In gymnastics, we go FULL OUT. 


So, currently, I think the gymnastics team is TRYING to go full out, but they're falling down and stuff. They want to win a national championship, but they might have to actually go full out to do it.


I've never seen the first Full Out, by the way. But also, if there's another sequel, I think it should be called Full Out 3: You Got This 2!


This guy is explaining his planned comic book, and really, no one cares. He probably won't even go full out with it anyway. Unless it's a comic about this gymnastics team, who eventually WILL (I assume) go full out.


I know this is a movie about gymnastics, so I don't wanna sound dumb when I say this. But... This is a LOT of gymnastics. Like, there are little plot points here and there, and then they'll have a minute-long sequence of girls flipping and stuff. Imagine a baseball movie where there is a brief scene and then dudes taking batting practice, and it just rotates like that.


Oh boy! We're breakdancing now! Is someone gonna learn how to go full out in gymnastics by first learning how to breakdance?? Seems like the natural progression to me!


Ok, the coach almost did it! This year's theme is going full... THROTTLE. I mean, that's basically full out!


Oh, and the coach is bad at acting.


There's our first Boomer Sooner.


In order to be a good gymnast, you have to be a good dancer?? Really? So obviously, there will be a lot of dancing in this film. As far as I'm concerned, it is now officially Full Out 2: Electric Boogaloo.


This movie is really bad. Really really bad. I'll acknowledge, however, that for kids who are like 10 years old and really into gymnastics (and/or dancing), it's probably watchable. And that may be the only positive thing I say about it in this entire post.


Um, we're country line dancing at some kind of dance recital thing. I don't think that really happens. There's also one dude on stage singing and playing a guitar; no other band members are present, yet we hear all the other instruments.


Oh, ok. This one dancer just did some flips. So obviously at one point, she will end up on the gymnastics team. Going full out, naturally.


I thought the geek dude's shirt said STONER CHEMISTRY. But it's just Sooner Chemistry instead. Probably the most popular shirt on campus, I'm sure.


Whoa, wait. This one girl wants to leave the team to go try out for the Olympics. That's going a little TOO full out! Now she's gotta leave the team. (I guess it's good that they just saw that dancer doing all the flips last night?)


Oh hey, it's Nadia. Netflix distribution achieved.


Our best player wants to go to the Olympics!

"Please tell me you're joking."

"I wish I were."


Dancer in the gym. "Do you have any tips for her on the beams?" Oh yeah, cause if you're a dancer, you can just walk into a gym and give gymnastics lessons.


Now the coach said "full steam ahead." Still no full out! Oh, and we've had three Boomer Sooners now.


"She's pretty dope." And now we're dancing in the library!


Look, if the Sooners don't win the national championship, I hope everyone looks back at all the dancing they've been doing. Cause you know what LSU and Florida's gymnasts aren't doing right now? Dancing in the library.


The coach isn't happy! No one is doing gymnastics well at all. Tell them to go full out! Tell them!


Man. 9 a.m. at the North Oval? No way! This coach is a hard ass! (I had music theory classes that were over by 9 a.m., coach.)

And STILL no full out! But we ARE dancing again.


"Oklahoma? Hi, we're Netflix. Can we film a gymnastics movie at your school?"

"Yes, but only if you promote our dance program as well."

"Deal. We'll make it a gymnastics movie that's actually about dancing."


Dancer to dancer:

"She wants to get down with us."

"When the boys are done."

Plot twist... The boys are never done! We dance 24/7! Go make us sandwiches!


I remember when I worked in the football dorm in college and how all the football players would spend all their time at the baseball field, learning about baseball and challenging each other in random baseball activities.


More bad music alert! These are the best days of our lives! Cause life will never top breakdancing in a courtyard on a college campus in Norman, Oklahoma!


Boomer Sooner #4. (I'd abbreviate that to B.S., but it wouldn't be very clear what I'm referring to in this post.)


Going to a party. Oh yeah. College party time. I'm ready. Oh... it's a dance battle party. Boy, I went to SO MANY of these in college.


Guys, I lied. I didn't go to a lot of dance parties in college, ok?


Guys, I lied. I really didn't go to many parties at all in college, dance or otherwise.


Guys, I lied. The only parties I went to in college were the ones I threw on my floor when I was an R.A. And people only came because I would get the big 6-foot subs and plates of cookies from Subway. Looking back, if I'd made them breakdance before taking cookies, I wouldn't have had to lie to everyone on my sports blog 20 years later.


"Netflix liked our movie pitch. Unfortunately, we only have about 30 minutes of stuff filmed. How can we give them a 90-minute film?"

"Let me ask you this: Can you get 45 minutes of dancing footage and maybe 15 minutes of gymnastics stuff?"

"Yes! Great idea! WE GOT THIS."


There's 18 minutes left. I don't know if I can take 16:43 more scenes of dancing.


Maybe they can go outside and film some kids playing hackeysack or something? Just switch it up, you know?


We just met famous people named Impact and Villain. I don't even know if they're real or not. But at least we switched from random dancing to gymnastics again for a minute.


Wait. The geek dude didn't know his new girlfriend was on the gymnastics team? The only thing less believable than this is the fact that like 12 people (and no other teams?) are here at the national championships. (Edit: Some shots do now appear to show other teams and something resembling an audience.)


"I told you you'd get your chance, Natalie! (I knew that girl would break her ankle and the coach would have no choice but to actually let you compete!)"


I'm watching this gymnastics national championship play out in the last eight minutes of a movie that is supposedly based on a true story, yet all I can think is, "Man, I wonder what those dancers are doing right now." Cause that's the movie they've given us! A dance movie with a side story about gymnastics.


We finally got a "You got this"! I don't know if we ever got a "full out"?

Two more Boomer Sooners though!


Look, real footage of the real-life team. What about real footage of the breakdancers on campus?? Show us!

Oh... More line dancing. Cool.


Ok, in the closing credits, although it's MORE dancing, we get to see the actors dancing with the gymnasts they're each portraying in the film, which is cool. We also learn that one of the kids is an actual Special Olympics gold medalist and that the real OU coach is pretty funny. 10/10 for the credits sequence.


Well, I did it again. I definitely went full out this time. Thanks to everyone who followed along! 

2021 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 6 Hour Results

 We've well and truly settled in here, just after eight hours into the race, so we'll backtrack and get the results for the 6 Hour mark of our Blogathon Pick 'Em Fantasy game:


1st - #5 Mustang Sampling JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi (Mike - 6 points)

2nd - #01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)

3rd - #10 Konica Minolta Acura ARC-05 (Mike - 2 points)


1st - #11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 (unclaimed)

3rd - #8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 1 point)



1st - #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 3 points)

2nd - #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 (Allen - 2 points)

3rd - #6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 (Mike - 1 point)



1st - #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Mike - 3 points)

2nd - #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Mike - 1 point)



1st - #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R (unclaimed)

2nd - #1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Andy - 2 points)

3rd - #23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (unclaimed)

So, through six hours, here are our standings:

Mike - 13 points

Allen -  9 points

Andy - 8 points

It's still close, though! And with 15+ hours still to go......ANYTHING CAN HAP-...yeah, yeah, I know. But racing lends itself so well to cliches...

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Radiant Radish #115: Car Songs for Blogathon!

Each week, I host a show on Radio Free Nashville, playing a bunch of power pop, pop punk, and indie rock music. This week, to celebrate Blogathon, I'm taking songs from my past Blogathon playlists and playing all songs about cars! The show is airing here right now, or you can listen to the archive below:

Mario Kart Online: The Return!

It's been a few years since we could play Mario Kart online during Blogathon since we didn't have the latest version. But now we're back! I'm a little nervous!

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #2







Navage is a Blogathon classic.
I once thought nothing could surpass it.
But Battery Daddy
Surpassed it so badly,
And that's not the least bit sarcastic.

2021 Blogathon Fantasy Draft

As Mike alluded to in his first limerick post, things are a LOT looser around here this year. With everything that our families have going on, we've scaled back some of the stuff that we've done over the years, but we did manage to put together a 10-round pick 'em fantasy draft last night. Since he absolutely murdered us last year, Allen got first pick, followed by me, then Mike:

Round Allen Andy Mike
1 #48 DPi Cadillac #31 DPi Cadillac #5 DPi Cadillac
2 #60 DPi Acura #01 DPi Cadillac #10 DPi Acura
3 #55 DPi Mazda #3 GTLM Corvette #4 GTLM Corvette
6 #8 LMP2 ORECA #14 GTD Lexus #6 LMP3 Duqueine
7 #11 LMP2 ORECA #9 GTD Porsche #44 GTD Acura
8 #33 LMP3 Ligier #62 GTLM Ferrari #54 LMP3 Ligier
9 #74 LMP3 Ligier #38 LMP3 Ligier #7 LMP3 Duqueine
10 #79 GTLM Porsche #1 GTD Lamborghini #96 GTD BMW


 By my estimation, the only cars on this list that have hit any sort of considerable trouble as of the 4-hour mark are the #81 DragonSpeed LMP2 ORECA and the #29 Racing Team Nederland LMP2 ORECA, so this thing is still wide open. At the very least, I'll be back in a couple hours with the scores at the 6-hour mark.

Blogathon 2021: Limerick #1

Hey everybody! Things are way more laid-back this year. It's been crazy for everyone, of course, and we didn't prepare much for the weekend. We are going to do some live Mario Kart a little later, and I'll likely still live-blog a bad sports movie at some point tomorrow. Stay tuned for details. We also did draft cars for the race, so Speedgeek will be updating our scores for that.

I'll try to check in throughout the weekend while getting over my heartbreak from that LSU/Texas Tech game.

For now, here's a dumb limerick to kick things off...

Once again, Blogathon's here,
And I just wasn't ready this year.
But you'll likely deduce
I like any excuse
To have some hot wings and some beer!

Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD Class Preview

We've made it! Our last class to preview this year is the perennial favorite (or, at least my favorite class for the last couple years): GTD. The reasons for that: 1) the most cars (19, nearly double that of the next biggest class), 2) the most manufacturers (nine, fully TRIPLE that of the next most manufacturers in any class). Who cares if it's the slowest class, when you've got a field like that? OK, let's get to it.

The Little-Hopers

#42 NTE Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 - As much as I hate to relegate the car that has one of my personal favorite drivers in it (that would be J.R. Hildebrand, who really should have a full time gig somewhere), he's the only driver rated above Silver. And J.R. has never raced this car or on this track. A win is not gonna happen for these guys. Odds - 100 to 1.


#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 - The Sun Energy Mercedes has done this race several times before, but has yet to get anywhere near the podium at the end of 24 hours. And 2021 won't be any different. I wouldn't be surprised to see them up near the top-5 in the closing hours (likely with the rapid Raffaele Marciello or Luca Stolz behind the wheel), but a win would be very, very hard to imagine. Odds - 100 to 1.


#64 Team TGM Porsche 911 GT3R - The verdict comes down to this summary: two Silvers, two Bronzes. Odds - 100 to 1.


#57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 - It's Maro Engel (a really quick Platinum) and three Silvers. Nope. Odds - 100 to 1.


The Peloton

#44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 - My favorite team (well, tied for favorite, with the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus team), but they've got a new team association this year and a new car. That is a combination that rarely adds up to "win in the first time out". Odds - 75 to 1.


#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R - Usually, a Porsche with Patrick Long and Jan Heylen behind the wheel would be one of my favorites, but these guys are working with an all-new car after their first one was damaged beyond repair in the run up to the Roar Before. I think that in a field as stout as this one, that's the sort of thing that'll essentially eliminate you from winning contention. Alas... Odds - 30 to 1.


#21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 - Plain and simple: the Ferraris haven't looked quick enough. Odds - 25 to 1.


#63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 - See above. Odds - 25 to 1.


#97 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Astons look a little quicker than the Ferraris this month, but I am predicting that they'll lack just a tick worth of pace when things get down to brass tacks on Sunday afternoon. Odds - 20 to 1.


#23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - See above. Odds - 20 to 1.


#28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 - I'd rank this team higher if they were running their typical Porsche entry, but they've switched to the Mercedes-AMG this year. Maybe this will be the magic combination for them and Maxi Buhk and Billy Johnson can carry them to a win, but I just don't see it. Odds - 17 to 1.


#88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3R - Notable for carrying factory Porsche driver Earl Bamber and GTD stalwarts Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen, but something tells me that they're going to lack just the last little bit of pace that'll allow them to contend for the win. This said, I think they've got a great chance at a top-5, and possibly even a podium. But everything would need to fall right for the win. Odds - 17 to 1.


The Pointy End of the Grid

 #19 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - I've heard that the Lambo teams say that they're struggling for pace this year, but seeing as how one of them finished 3rd in the Roar Before Pole 100, I think we're going to see more of the same as past years, with multiple Lambos running near, and even at, the front. Odds - 14 to 1.


#111 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - See above. Odds - 14 to 1.


#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 - Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley wheeled the #96 Turner BMW to the win in the Roar Before Pole 100, but they seemed pretty sure in the post-race interview that other teams are sandbagging. I guess we'll see, but I think they're going to be right near the front for all 24 hours. Odds - 12 to 1.


#12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 - The Lexuses put on quite a display for most of the season last year, with Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz (shout out, WHAT'S UP, BIRCHWOOD, WI?) sweeping through the middle of the season in the #14 and nearly winning the championship after a rough start to the season. I think the Lexuses will be right at the front again for most of the season, and I think they'll take the GTD title. A Daytona win? Yeah, maybe one of those, too. Odds - 10 to 1.


#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 - See above. Odds - 10 to 1.


#9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R - This team is always quick with Zacharie Robichon, Lars Kern and Matt Campbell behind the wheel, but then they went and added Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor. Holy smokes. This has got to be one of the pre-race favorites (and they're starting 2nd after finishing just a couple seconds behind the Turner BMW in the Roar Before Pole 100). Odds - 8 to 1.


#1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 - The defending champs, and if somebody else wants the win, it goes through the Paul Miller Racing Lambo. Yeah, yeah, they're starting almost last after dropping out of the Roar Before Pole 100, but this is about executing over 24 hours. This team has proven they can do exactly that. Odds - 7 to 1.


Whew. Just in the nick of time. OK, it's time to do some prep for my All Racing Fantasy Draft that takes place tomorrow morning, and then I'll see all of you in the afternoon at Daytona! Thanks for coming by!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - DPi Class

Ahem. Like last year, I'm courting controversy (among all seven people who will read these class previews) by not having the top DPi class in my place of prominence as "most interesting class (to me)". Again, a light car count in the DPi class (seven) relegates the class of the likely overall winner to 2nd place in my rankings again, ironically, behind the slowest of the five classes. A lack of cars and a lack of manufacturers will do that. BUT, the top class comes tomorrow, today, we're talkin' DPi.

The Contenders

#55 Mazda Motorsports DPi - The good part of having only seven cars in a tightly bunched field means that they're all "contenders", so I only have to come up with one section heading. Score! Anyhow, by dint of the fact that they're the only manufacturer among the three in the DPi class not to have won a championship, the Mazda DPi is last on my depth chart, even though they finished 2nd here last year and finished 1-3 at the last race of 2020, the much delayed 12 Hours of Sebring. Sorry, the other two manufacturers just seem better suited to win this year, especially since Mazda dropped from two entries to one (meaning if something befalls the team, there is no second car that might be able to soldier on). Odds - 10 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi - Welcome back to the top class, Mike Shank! It's seriously great to have the "little team that could" back around and running for overall wins after a few years in the GTD class. The driving lineup is basically second to none, with full timers Olivier Pla and Dane Cameron being joined by "I'll drive" Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger. That's a frightening combo. However, they've seemed to be just a tick off of the frontrunning pace for a good chunk of the month, and I think they may struggle to match the pace of the Cadillacs in their first Acura DPi outing. Odds - 7 to 1.


#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi - An essentially identical story to the Meyer Shank Acura, the Wayne Taylor squad only took delivery of their Acura DPi a couple months ago and appear to still be getting used to it. They have the advantage of having three guys on the team that are intimately familiar with this car in Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi, and Felipe Albuquerque has proven that he can drive anything, but even a small missed technical item can derail your 24 hour race. Meanwhile, the Caddys look pretty usual. Odds - 7 to 1.


#48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - It's basically "pick a car number out of a hat" in this class when it comes to who'll win, but it's especially hard when it comes to the Caddys. For me, the #48 falls to the bottom of the depth chart. Kamui Kobayashi has won this race in a Caddy, and Mike Rockenfeller and Simon Pagenaud can make anything go fast (although Rocky is returning to the top class after several years in a GTLM Corvette), but their fourth driver is a liability. Yeah, yeah, that fourth driver is seven time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, but he's new to these cars. I think he'll do fine, but in this company, "fine" is not exactly "enough". Odds - 6 to 1.


#01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi - Another controversial pick! Sure, Chip Ganassi's cars have won the 24 Hours of Daytona 83 times (number estimated), but they've been away from the top class for five years while campaigning the Ford GT in the GTLM class (plus sitting out last year). They're obviously always great here, but you do have to wonder if they'll slot right back in to top form after this long away. Also, we know that Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande (both winners last year with Wayne Taylor) know their way around the place, but Kevin Magnussen is making his endurance debut this weekend. Those don't always go smoothly, especially for somebody who's used to full-on attack for 90 minutes worth of Formula 1 racing... Odds - 6 to 1.


#5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi - It's Team France! Seriously, all the drivers are French. I checked and everything. Not only are they all French, but Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval and Sebastien Bourdais are all top flight drivers. Honestly, I can't even decide who is theoretically the "closer" among them. They might have to have some type of fight among them to sort it out. Except French guys....fighting.....sorry, it was way, way, way too easy. Odds - 5 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi - Not a shock to find the #31 Caddy here, is it? They were quickest in pre-Roar Before Pole 100 qualifying, but got sent to the back for a technical infraction, but then still won the Pole 100 at a canter, anyway. The Whelen/Action Express team knows this car and track inside and out, and among Felipe Nasr, Mike Conway, Pipo Derani and defending NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott, there isn't a soft spot in the driver lineup (I know you could make the same argument for Chase that I made for Jimmie above, but Chase has cleaned up on the road courses in Cup lately...I think he's just simply quicker). If somebody else wants to win this race, they've got to come through the #31. Odds - 4 to 1.


And with that, we're down to the last class! Oh, and side note: if I were betting my own actual money, I'd be putting some down on that #5 Caddy..... Anyway, see you all back here very soon, as we wrap up our class previews and head into Blogathon!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

 We're in the dead center of the 2021 Daytona 24 Hour class previews now. Right in the middle, between the "ooh, those are the classes to watch" category and the "uh....maybe I'm gonna go grab some snacks" category is the "eh, sure, let's check in over there" class for 2021: LMP2. Last year, LMP2 was my "least interesting" class, with only six cars on the entry list (although one of those scratched before the race even started), but this year, there are more cars starting in the LMP2 class (ten) than the last two years combined (nine). MOVIN' ON UP.

The Pack

#11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 - Ex-Mazda factory driver Tristan Nunez is the headliner of the driver lineup, although Matthew Bell has quite a bit of endurance experience. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the two Bronzes on the team, Steven Thomas and Thomas Merrill, which is why I'm parking them back here. Odds - 20 to 1.


#51 RWR-Eurasia Ligier LMP2 - The most notable driver to American fans will be NASCAR driver Austin Dillon. Less known would be rumored IndyCar-driver-to be Cody Ware. Essentially unknown would be Salih Yoluc. The fastest driver, though, would be Mathieu Jaminet. The only Ligier in the LMP2 field, which isn't a good thing (it's been said to be down on straightline speed at Le Mans in the past...and going fast in a straight line is kind of a big deal at Daytona. Odds - 15 to 1.


#82 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 - Teammate to the defending race winning #81 DragonSpeed ORECA, you might think that this car would be further up the grid, but the #82 finished 9th out of ten cars at the Roar Before Pole 100, and the #82 only has one driver above Silver (that would be Christopher Mies, who's won here before in a GTD Audi). There are just simply too many fast cars here this year. Odds - 11 to 1.


#47 Cetilar Racing Dallara LMP2 - Here is where things start to get tricky. Cetilar is an experienced European Le Mans Team, and the Dallara is extremely fast in a straight line (as we've covered, a good thing at Daytona). But this is their first go here in the States, so to me, it feels like the Italian guys are going to wind up mid-pack-ish. Odds - 10 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - Gabriel Aubry and Matthieu Vaxiviere are both extremely quick. Timothe Buret maybe a tick less so (although he has plenty of 24 Hour experience). John Farano is the requisite gentleman Bronze of the group, but he seems capable. Again, like I've mentioned for the last couple of cars, there are just simply faster cars here this year. Odds - 9 to 1.



The Front Runners


#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - We know full well that Ryan Dalziel can get the job done in a prototype car (he sat on the pole here in 2012 and finished 2nd). Paul-Loup Chatin is quick. Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman have both done this race more than once. And the Era ORECA has a sweet paint job that was designed by a six year old (yes, really). These guys should contend well into Sunday morning and possibly even beyond. Odds - 8 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Another of the first time Daytona entrants (which, in fairness, applies to most of this class), this team features an actual Formula 1 Grand Prix winner (Robert Kubica) and an actual member of a royal family (Ferdinand Habsburg-Lothringen). Cool, huh? Those two should be quick, and their Danish co-drivers Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach should hopefully be capable enough to hand off to Robby and Freddy (as I'm going to call them, just to be obnoxious) in the late hours. Odds - 8 to 1.


#29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA LMP2 07 - The Dutch squad, loaded with quick Dutch drivers...and one Frenchman. These guys have been quite good in World Endurance Championship competition, with a class win at Fuji a couple years ago. They finished 4th in the Roar Before Pole 100 race, after building their car out of a shipping container just a week or so ago. I think that story will continue into Sunday afternoon, and I think a podium is a strong possibility. Odds - 7 to 1.


#81 DragonSpeed USA LLC ORECA LMP2 07 - The defending champs, with longtime driver Ben Hanley being joined by Rob Hodes, Indy Lights veteran Garrett Grist and lightning quick IndyCar driver Rinus Veekay. This car will contend for the win all the way to the end....and come up just short. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - Longtime LMPC and LMP2 team Mathiasen Motorsports finished second to the #81 DragonSpeed car last year, but with Platinum driver Nicolas Lapierre, Gold Mikkel Jensen and quick young Silver Scott Huffaker on the squad, this team is poised to go one spot better in 2021. I'd say that if your "weakest link" is Ben Keating (one of the most solid "gentleman drivers" on the grid, and whose outstanding "Dinner With Racers" podcast episode I just listened to earlier this week), you're looking better than good. This is my pick (although I'm not exactly going out on a limb, seeing as how they're on the class pole). Odds - 6 to 1.



We're past halfway, with just one GT class and one Prototype class to go. Let's see if I can get those done before the weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP3 Class Preview

With the GTLM class out of the way, it's time for our second class, in order of "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)". For this year, that's the new-to-IMSA WeatherTech Series class, LMP3. This class was introduced a couple of years ago as a de facto replacement for the old LMPC class, except that it was mostly used as a sprint race support series. Now, to bolster car counts in the top series in these economically challenging times, it's been brought into the "big leagues". As they mentioned several times during the "Roar Before" Pole 100 race this last Sunday, there is the slight issue that this type of car has never been asked to run 24 full hours in race conditions......but, hey, details, amirite? Let's get to it:

The Pack

#33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 - Sure, they've got former overall champ Joao Barbosa in the driving lineup, but my thinking here boils down to two words: new team. However, in such a new class, these are all complete dart throws. Odds - 9 to 1.
#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 - Features Road to Indy driver Rasmus Lindh and longtime LMPC/LMP2 competitor Cameron Cassels, but I can't say a ton about the other two young drivers (Mateo Llarena and Ayrton Ori, who at least has a fantastic name). It wouldn't be a total shock to seem them take the class, but I think other teams are far more likely. Odds - 8 to 1.
#91 Riley Motorsports Ligier  JS P320 - Jeroen Bleekemolen headlines the driving squad, but the rest of the drivers are either under-30 Silvers or Bronzes. A win might be more than could be expected. Quite a bit more. Odds - 7 to 1.
#7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 - A couple of Indy Lights graduates ("Flyin'" Ryan Norman and the criminally underrated Gabby Chaves) anchor the driving lineup, but Mark Kvamme and Charles Finelli are both Bronzes (although both bring years of experience to the table). Expect to see Chaves in the car and hustling as much as possible in the waning hours of the long as the car is still on the track. Odds - 7 to 1.

The Front Runners

#6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - I wouldn't have thought much about this car and these guys...except that Moritz Kranz and Laurents Hoerr easily won the pole for the class at the Roar Before Pole 100, and they've apparently got plenty of experience in this car in the Prototype Challenge series. They've added former LMPC class champ Kenton Koch as their third driver, and although their fourth driver has yet to be named at press time, this feels like a pretty stout combo. Odds - 5 to 1.
#74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 - It's the "other" Riley Motorsports car, and with talented youngster Gar Robinson and IndyCar drivers Oliver Askew and Spencer Pigot in the lineup, this car should fly (although I can't say I know a ton about the fourth driver, Scott Andrews). This feels like one of the clear favorites going into the event. Odds - 5 to 1.
#54 CORE Autosport Ligier JS P320 - Zillion time LMPC class champ and former Porsche GTLM factory squad CORE Autosport is back this year after a year away, and longtime drivers Colin Braun and Jon Bennett know how to get the job done here. Matt McMurry is always seriously fast in any kind of sports car and George Kurtz looks to be solid as well. I think this is the team to beat. Odds - 4 to 1.
And just like that, we've got two classes done! We've still got two prototype classes and one massive GT class to go. Will I get any of those previews done in any kind of cohesive manner? Probably not! But, maybe! Come on back and find out!

2021 Daytona 24 Hours - GTLM Class Preview

We're back! Er, I'm back. And probably the rest of the guys, too. Anyway,  it's the last week of January, so you all know what that means: time to abandon those New Year's resolutions!, everybody's second favorite late-January tradition:




That's right. Kind of.  You see, the staff here at GBS have enough kids to field a full baseball squad, and a multitude of duties of all sorts, so it might be a bit of a lean year here, but we'll see if we can keep some of the traditions going. First up: my incredibly bad Daytona 24 Hour class previews, complete with bad odds for every car! First up, in my traditional order of "least interesting class (to me)" to "most interesting class (to me)", it's our backmarker: GTLM. This year, the new LMP2 class took the honors in going first, but seeing as how they've increased LMP2 car count from six cars to ten, LMP2 no longer rides caboose at GBS! Taking that honor this year is the depleted GTLM class, down from last year's seven cars to this year's six cars. Gone: the factory CORE Porsche team. In its place: the WeatherTech/Proton Porsche team. Let's get to it.

I Don't Think So


#79 WeatherTech Porsche 911 RSR-19 - The only Porsche in the class is now being run by a team that isn't a typical Daytona entrant (Germany's Proton Competition), and while they do have Porsche factory drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Kevin Estre and Richard Lietz, they're also the only team with even a single driver ranked below Gold (Cooper MacNeil, a Silver). While Cooper is a capable driver, it's hard to see how they can stay with the leaders for 24 hours, if any of the other five cars has a trouble-free run (and I think somebody will).  Odds - 8 to 1.



The Pack


#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE - The only Ferrari in the field is loaded with Ferrari factory drivers, and it should be fast. However, as a part time entrant, I just think that the four full-on factory cars will be too hard to beat. Odds - 7 to 1.


 #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE - The BMWs were seriously fast here last year, and did manage to win the race in the GTLM class, but that was also the very first race for one of the other cars in this class. I think that after a year of battle hardening, that other car is going to be too hard to beat. Odds - 5 to 1.


#25 BMW Team RLL BMW M7 GTE - See above. Odds - 5 to 1.



The Favorites


 #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R - With two new drivers to the Corvette team (Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims, in addition to returnee Tommy Milner), I think this Vette is the minor underdog in the intra-team battle. But it wouldn't be a shock to see it in Victory Lane on Sunday afternoon. Odds - 4 to 1.


#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R - Full season drivers Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor are back this year, with ace enduro driver Nicky Catsburg joining them. Not exactly going out on a limb here, since they won the IMSA GTLM Championship last year, but these guys have to be the favorites. Odds - 7 to 2.


And just like that, we've got one class down! Four to go!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Is LSU Making a Historic Run in Football, Men's Basketball, and Baseball?

As the LSU basketball team continues to win games, I think it's possible that we could be in the middle of one of the greatest overall collective performances in football, men's basketball, and baseball by one college throughout one school year.

We all know by now about how dominant the LSU football team was in the fall, wrapping up a National Championship with a 42-25 win over Clemson in the championship game earlier this month and ending with a perfect 15-0 record, including wins over the preseason's top four teams (Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma) along the way.

And although no team has won national titles in all three sports in the same school year, the Florida Gators did secure national championships in both football and basketball in 2006-07, becoming the first team to win two of the three titles in one school year. (In fact, only Florida, Ohio State, California, and Michigan own titles in all three sports across different years.)

Now, I'm not predicting a March Madness crown for my Tigers, but I think they have as good of a shot as most other teams. The starting five can play with any other starting five out there; however, the bench depth is fairly limited, so I can see foul trouble (and/or poor officiating) throwing the team off of its game in a crucial postseason match.

Still, the team has won nine games in a row and has finally returned to the Top 25, currently sitting with a 6-seed, as predicted by ESPN, which could continue to rise throughout February.

Of course, there is also baseball, which begins in just three weeks. The Tigers are entering the season ranked around the Top 10-15 in national polls and always have a chance of competing in the NCAA Tournament, particularly if the team does well enough to grab a Super Regional spot in the spring.

So obviously, in order to compare the 2019-20 Tigers to Florida's great 2006-07 teams, LSU would need to win a title in basketball or baseball. But there are other numbers we could analyze, such as total wins.

In 2006-07, Florida's football team finished 13-1, while the basketball team went 35-5. Those 48 total wins are very impressive; on the other hand, the 2007 baseball Gators finished with a record of 29-30. If we count all wins equally, that's a total of 77 wins over the three sports.

This year's LSU Tiger teams have a good chance of topping that total. We know about the 15 wins in football. The basketball team is currently 16-4 (7-0 in SEC) and has two beatable opponents coming up next in Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. In fact, if we go ahead and predict six losses over the rest of the regular season (perhaps at Auburn, at Alabama, vs. Kentucky, at Florida, at Arkansas, +1 surprise?), the team would still enter SEC Tournament play at 21-10. Giving the team another two wins in SEC and/or postseason tournament play, 23 wins seems like a very safe estimate at this point. That total combined with football is 38.

Last year's LSU baseball team had a pretty average year for the Tigers, winning 40 games, finishing in the middle of the conference, and going 6-4 in the postseason, dropping both contests with Florida State in the Super Regional. The team's final ranking was around the Top 15 in the polls. In other words, this year's team is predicted to be about the same as, if not slightly better than, last year's team. (I personally think the roster is improved, key players will have more confidence, and the freshman class is absolutely loaded.)

So if the baseball team were to match last year's 40 wins, we could see a total of 78 or more total wins across the three sports, topping Florida's 2006-07 teams.

Again, I know a second National Championship makes this is an actual conversation. But as a Tigers fan (and a biased SEC supporter), I'm having fun watching it all unfold.

So am I missing anyone? Are there other schools out there who should be in the conversation?

Monday, January 27, 2020

Updated GBS Movie Ratings

Updated to add Benchwarmers 2.

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004) - 3/10 (IMDB = 6.9)
Benchwarmers 2 (2019) - 3/10 (IMDB - 3.9)
Blue Chips (1994) - 7.5/10 (IMDB = 6.1)
Crackerjack (2013) - 1/10 (IMDB = 6.6)
Driven (2001) - 2.5/10 (IMDB = 4.6)
Fumbleheads (1997) - 1/10 (IMDB = 6.0)
Hockey Mom (2004) - 1/10 (IMDB = 5.2)
Kart Racer (2003) - 2/10 (IMDB = 5.8)
My Dad's a Soccer Mom (2014) - 1/10 (IMDB = 5.4)
Superdome (1978) - 3/10 (IMDB = 2.6)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

2020 Daytona 24 Hours - Final Summary and Blogathon Pick 'Em Final Standings

So, for all the promise of a slam bang finish, things kind of settled out in the last hour, and other than some pushing and shoving between the GTLM Porsches for 2nd and 3rd in class, there wasn't a whole lot of wheel to wheel stuff down the stretch. Bummer, because it was actually a pretty great race, right up to the end. Congrats to the Wayne Taylor Racing guys (and girls) on their overall win, and the DragonSpeed, RLL BMW and Paul Miller Racing teams on their respective class wins.

With all of that "reality racing" out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks with our "fantasy racing" stuff (you know, the stuff that matters). Here were our scores for the 24 Hour mark:

1st - #10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (Allen - 12 points)
2nd - #77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi (Allen - 8 points)
3rd- #5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)

1st - #81 DragonSpeed ORECA LMP2 07 (Andy - 6 points)
2nd - #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 4 points)
3rd - #18 Era Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points)

1st - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Allen - 6 points)
2nd - #912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Andy - 4 points)
3rd - #911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Mike - 2 points)

1st - #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Mike - 6 points)
2nd - #44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Allen - 4 points)
3rd - #88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Andy - 2 points)

The 24 Hour totals:
Allen - 36 points
Andy - 16 points
Mike - 8 points

And the grand totals:
Allen - 77 points
Andy - 43 points
Mike - 25 points

Holy cow, Allen beat Mike and my points totals combined this year. I think that's a Blogathon Pick 'Em first. Good job by him.

Well, that'll wrap up my Blogathon coverage for 2020. Thanks to the folks who stopped by this year and enjoyed some racing, some tennis and a truly terrible movie with us. Hope to see you all back here next year (or maybe sooner).

More Songs for a Rolex 24 Playlist

1. The Beach Boys - Spirit of America

2. Jan & Dean - Little Old Lady From Pasadena

3. Prince - Little Red Corvette

4. Groovie Ghoulies - The Bay Bridge Club

5. Tim Smooth - Used Car (NSFW!!)

Blogathon 2020: Limerick #5

One day when I'm rich and retire,
I'll buy lots of nice things to admire.
And then you might see me
With a lamborghini.
I just hope it won't catch on fire.

2020 Daytona 24 Hours - 22 Hour Update

With just two hours to go in the race, we've still got some great battles going on. The top-3 overall (two Caddys and a Mazda) are still on the lead lap, the top two in LMP2 are separated by just a lap, the top-5 in GTLM are covered by one lap (the #912 Porsche just passed the #24 BMW for the lead in the infield) and the top EIGHT in GTD are still in with a chance for the win. With breakfast at Speedgeek Palisades wrapped up, I'm going to settle in with the TV and timing & scoring and see where this goes for the next hour.


2020 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 18 Hour Standings

And here were our scores at the 18 Hour mark of the race:

1st - #10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (Allen - 6 points)
2nd - #5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi (Andy - 4 points)
3rd - #77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi (Allen - 2 points)

1st - #81 DragonSpeed ORECA LMP2 07 (Andy - 3 points)
2nd - #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 2 points)
3rd - #18 Era Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 1 point)

1st - #912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Andy - 3 points)
2nd - #911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Mike - 2 points)
3rd - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Allen - 1 point)

1st - #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Mike - 3 points)
2nd - #88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Andy - 2 points)
3rd - #44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Allen - 1 point)

The 18 Hour totals:

Allen - 13 points
Andy - 12 points
Mike - 5 points

And the running total:

Allen - 41 points
Andy - 27 points
Mike - 17 points

Oof. Allen's built up quite a lead. BUT, with 12/8/4 points going to the overall podium and 6/4/2 points for each of the lesser classes, there are 60 points still available at the end here. With a tick under four hours to go, there are still four DPis on the lead lap, the two LMP2 leaders are on the same lap, the top FIVE GTLM cars are on the same la (covered by just under five seconds) and the top EIGHT GTD cars are covered by just two laps (with the top five or six on the same lap). This is still wide open.

2020 Blogathon Pick 'Em - 12 Hour Standings

Here were our scores at the 12 Hour mark of the race:

1st - #5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi (Andy - 6 points)
2nd - #10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (Allen - 4 points)
3rd - #77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi (Allen - 2 points)

1st - #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 3 points)
2nd - #81 DragonSpeed ORECA LMP2 07 (Andy - 2 points)
3rd - #18 Era Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 (Allen - 1 point)

1st - #24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE (Allen - 3 points)
2nd - #912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Andy - 2 points)
3rd - #911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 (Mike - 1 point)

1st - #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Mike - 3 points)
2nd - #88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Andy - 2 points)
3rd - #44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Allen - 1 point)

The 12 Hour totals:

Allen - 14 points
Andy - 12 points
Mike - 4 points

And the running total:

Allen - 28 points
Andy - 15 points
Mike - 12 points

Stay tuned for the 18 Hour standings shortly.

Good Morning From Daytona!

Or, probably, the more accurate greeting should be "Good Morning at Daytona", seeing as how I'm not there or anything. Anyway, sorry for the silence from me since the end of Benchwarmers 2, but last night was my first opportunity to get more than 6.5 hours of sleep in two full weeks. Sometimes you just gotta grab the sleep when you can.

I turned on the TV this morning just in time for a great Sam Posey-narrated piece about Ken Miles (you know, the guy Christian Bale played in "Ford v. Ferrari"), followed by a GOOD OL' CARBEQUE when the #11 Grasser/GEAR Lambo driven by Christina Nielsen caught fire on the back straight, causing her to slam on the brakes on the east banking (after making a trip to Daytona last fall and doing the track tour, I now know which end of the track is east and which is west, so I'm probably going to hit everybody over the head with that knowledge forever now) and the safety crew to come out to put out the blaze under the engine cover after the on board fire extinguisher apparently wouldn't work. Yikes. Scary stuff. With that breather, we now get a chance to reset and see that three of the four classes have multiple cars on the lead lap and the fourth (it probably goes without saying that it's LMP2) actually only has a lap between the top two cars, so that one's up for grabs, too. Oh, and my #7 Penske Acura DPi has recovered back up to 10th overall, so at least it's not an ARFLpocalypse for me to start the year.

Hang in here a little bit for the 12- and 18-Hour Pick 'Em scores as we restart (both the race and Blogathon) here. It should be a fun last 4 1/2 hours!

Krygios-Nadal Matchup Has Some Drama

Although I'm upset that we didn't get the men's final in the Australian Open during blogathon this year, I did wake up early yesterday and caught a great 4.5-hour match where Nick Krygios outlasted Karen Khachanov, setting up a contest against Rafael Nadal. (I should note that I wasn't necessarily pulling for either player, although Khachanov did look like he was about to ride his skateboard to a Blink 182 show.) What I didn't know is that there is some drama between Krygios and Nadal, so that makes the next match even more exciting.

To put it into terms that I (and maybe some of you) understand, Krygios is something of the Liam Gallagher of tennis, meaning his attitude probably hurts himself more than anyone else, and if you have anything of a sense of humor, most of his antics can be laughed off as anywhere from childish to mildly entertaining. (I watched a YouTube video, OK?)

They talked about how he mocked Nadal's serve before the yesterday's match and how he once served underhanded against him, which I assume, like biting his thumb at him, is an insult to him if he bears it. (Sorry for the Shakespeare.) But the part I thought was interesting was when I heard that Krygios once HIT Nadal with the ball on purpose. I thought that was crazy, since normally the players are trying to hit the ball as far away from the other player as possible. I thought, if he purposely tried to hit him with the ball, he was actually doing him a favor by not making him chase the ball, right?

Now, what I didn't know was that Nadal was actually playing close to the net at the time, so he had very little time to react, and the ball was fired at him at 120 mph. That being said, I know sometimes in basketball, it's the best move to bounce the ball off the other player. He didn't hit Nadal in the face with the ball. In fact, he went a lot lower. (Maybe check out the movie we watched last night for more info on that topic.)

Either way, I'm going to try to tune in, or I'll least catch the highlights to see if any shenanigans happen. In the end, I'm all for having a guy who makes things fun yet is also a really good player.

Blogathon 2020: Limerick #4

Conway tried not to be passed,
But the 10 car went by with a blast,
And I don't think it's right.
If they must drive all night,
Then should they be going so fast?

Blogathon 2020: Limerick #3

I guess Benchwarmers wasn't so bad
If you think of the actors it had.
There was Lovitz, Munro,
That girl Crystal Lowe,
And Chris Klein as a recent law grad.