auto racing · friday feature

Every Great Uniform Needs Gloves and Shoes To Match Revisited Part 2

By David G. Firestone

Every so often, I like to revisit articles I did previously, and fix mistakes I made. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to to revisit an article I did called “Every Great Uniform Needs Gloves and Shoes To Match.” This concerned a pair of Hut Stricklin gloves and Scott Riggs shoes. This was my first foray in to racing gloves and shoes. I made a lot of mistakes, so I’ll fix them. This week, the Scott Riggs shoes.

Shoes are as important as gloves in terms of fire protection. Those 10 seconds of fire protection are critical for the driver to get out of a burning car. The basic design of the shoes are meant to help the driver, well, drive. Some drivers in years past have opted for nontraditional racing shoes, such as Dave Marcus who was well-known for wearing wingtips while racing.

Shoes vary from racing category to racing category. Different racing categories need different shoes. For example, a pair of shoes worn in NASCAR differs from a pair worn in a Top Fuel Dragster. There are also other variations, such as the NHRA Funny Car over boots. This example is from Tony Pedregon. Scott Riggs raced in the top three NASCAR series from 1999 until 2014. He had a decent amount of success, with 4 wins in the Xfinity Series, Nashville and Fontana in 2002, and Gateway and Nashville in 2003. In the Truck Series, he has 5 wins, Martinsville, Dover, Kentucky, Nashville, and Cicero in 2001, along with a 5th place finish in 2001. He had 4 top 5’s and 16 top 10’s in the Cup Series.

From 2004 to 2007, Riggs had a little success in the Cup Series. Riggs scored four top 5’s, 5th in Dover in 2004, 4th at the 2005 Daytona 400, 2nd at the second Michigan race in 2005, and 4th at the second Bristol race of 2006. During that time, he also had 15 top 10’s at that time. During that time, he wore these blue and SFI 3.3/5 racing shoes. The shoes show a decent amount of use, and are autographed. The soles of the shoes show heavy wear, and material loss.

The right shoe features staining, scuff marks, and has been signed by Riggs on the silver. The left shoe features staining, scuff marks, and has been signed by Riggs on the silver. Next week, a racing balaclava.

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auto racing · friday feature

Every Great Uniform Needs Gloves and Shoes To Match Revisited Part 1

By David G. Firestone

Every so often, I like to revisit articles I did previously, and fix mistakes I made. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to to revisit an article I did called “Every Great Uniform Needs Gloves and Shoes To Match.” This concerned a pair of Hut Stricklin gloves and Scott Riggs shoes. This was my first foray in to racing gloves and shoes. I made a lot of mistakes, so I’ll fix them. First, the Hut Stricklin gloves.

Since the fire risk in racing is as high as it is, it makes sense that driver uniform includes fire retardant shoes and gloves to go along with it. Although they are frequently overlooked by many fans, they are just as critical to driver safety and comfort as the suit and helmet. Gloves and shoes have, like the suit and helmet, become fashion forward in recent years.

Gloves in racing are typically made of multiple layers of Nomex, and feature a textured layer on the palm, which is designed to help the driver grip the steering wheel. Gloves may be waterproofed for open cockpit racing, where rain and other inclement weather may not impede the race. The gloves give the same amount of protection that the suit does, and are certified by FIA and SFI, depending on where they are being used.

Hailing from Calera, Alabama, Hut Stricklin became the final member of the famed Alabama Gang when he married Donnie Allison’s daughter Pam. In his racing career, he won the 1987 NASCAR Dash Championship, and in his Cup and Xfinity Series career, while never winning a race, he had a total of 11 top 5’s and 37 top 10’s.

From 2000 to 2001, Stricklin raced for Junie Donlavey. In 2000, he raced 7 races with differing sponsors. In 2001, he raced 23 races with Hills Brothers as a sponsor. He scored a top 10, at Michigan at 2001. This pair of Simpson SFI 3.3/5 red gloves were worn by Hut Stricklin sometime after between 2000 and 2001. He has autographed both of them, and they show great use. The outer part of right glove features some wear on the white stripe, Stricklin’s autograph near the stripe, and a SIMPSON logo with an A written in Sharpie. The inner part of the right glove features heavy staining on the palms, a Simpson warranty label, and a size L tag inside the wrist. The outer part of left glove features some wear on the white stripe, Stricklin’s autograph near the stripe, and a SIMPSON logo. The inner part of the left glove features heavy staining on the palms, a SFI 3.3/5 certification label, and a size L tag inside the wrist. As I mentioned above, gloves have evolved to be more visible on in-car cameras. These examples, worn by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson show how these new customization can take a simple safety equipment item, and add some visual appeal to it.

Next week, a pair of Scott Riggs shoes revisited.

auto racing · friday feature

A Great Series Needs a Great Logo!-2019 Edition

By David G. Firestone

NASCAR has a lengthy history in the United States. Founded in 1948, 71 years ago, NASCAR has taken stock car racing to new heights. Once a regional promotion, NASCAR is now an international powerhouse. NASCAR and their various series have logo histories that are interesting.

Let’s start with NASCAR itself.

1948-1968The first NASCAR logo features a track-inspired oval design, with checkered flags, and two streamlined cars heading toward each other. NASCAR INTERNATIONAL is printed in black on the greenish-yellow oval.

1968-1978A newer version of the logo is introduced. The oval is gone, the colors have changed from black and greenish-yellow to blue and white. The checkered flags have a much more pronounced, and a line motif is added to the back ground. NASCAR is on top of the cars, INTERNATIONAL is underneath them.

1978-2017A brand new logo is introduced in 1978. A rectangle with NASCAR in white lettering, with various different colors in the negative space replaces the old school NASCAR International logo. A series of colored vertical bricks are on the left side of the logo.

2018-???A much more toned down version of the previous logo, with different font is introduced during 2017, with much fanfare.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has a unique tradition that stretches back to the 1970’s, the Series Logo. Series Logos are now commonplace in most forms of racing The evolution of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo over the years in interesting.

1972-1981This logo is designed in classic 1970’s design, and can be seen on driver suits, as this Dale Earnhardt Sr. example from 1980 clearly shows.

1982-1988The “1 Car” logo was a major redesign, and features a logo, with NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL SERIES embroidered, and a 1980’s car. Very visible on driver suits from the era.

1989-1992A simple Winston logo, which, while underwhelming is very visible on this Bobby Hillin Jr. Suit, and this photo of Dale Earnhardt Sr. from 1992…and look who is next to him!

1993-1996Again an underwhelming yet attractive series logo. The interesting thing about logos from 1993-2001 is that there are two designs, red with white lettering that displayed better on light driver suits, and white with red lettering that displayed better on dark colored driver suits. Though the rule was rather ambiguous for a while.

1997-1999This design went through some changes when Winston changed the design of their packaging. Starting in 1998, Winston went from a rounder typeface to a narrower and straighter typeface, as a young Tony Stewart is modeling.

1998:Every team and driver ran the NASCAR 50th Anniversary logo on their cars and driver suits. Not bad at all.

2000-2001A square design with an oval logo was used from 2000-2001, with the color-flipping returning. At this point, the discussion of who would replace Winston started, as due to legislation, cigarettes would not be allowed to sponsor auto racing within the next few years.

2002-2003The transitional oval logo. The Busch Grand National series had adopted an oval logo in 1995, and since the series would change sponsorships in 2004, this new logo would be the bridge between the old and the new.

2004-2007New sponsor, new colors, new shape. Nextell Communications took over in 2004 and it became the Nextell Cup Series. This logo would remain constant until Sprint and Nextell merged, which led to:

2008-2016:Same color scheme, same shape, same basic design.

The logo has become a marketing point for NASCAR teams and NASCAR itself. Die casts, driver uniform coats, t-shirts, pit crew shirts, and many other items carry these logos.

2017-2019Monster Energy takes over the series sponsorship from Sprint, initially for only one season, though two seasons were eventually announced. The new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has a logo based on the new Xfinity Series. It’s a black rectangle, with the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Now on to the NASCAR Xfinity Series

1982-1994 These two logos were used for the Busch Grand National series. The plain Busch logo worked better and was used more often than the Busch Beer Series logo.

1995-2004An oval logo with the sponsor name, and GRAND NATIONAL SERIES added below. It was very marketable and worked quite well as a logo.

2004-2007Grand National Series has been removed, and some minor redesigns to BUSCH and the NASCAR logo as well. 2006 featured the 25th Anniversary logo.

2007-2014

2015-2017Xfinity takes over the series sponsorship, and release an off-center oval logo, black outline with cutting edge designs on the black outline. The center is white, and features a NASCAR Xfinity Series text.

2018-PresentWith the new NASCAR logo came a new Xfinity Series logo, this one a black square with red designs and a NASCAR Xfinity Series logo replaces the oval.

Last but certainly not least the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

1995For the first season, the Truck Series was referred to as the “Super Truck Series by Craftsman.” It featured a decidedly early 1990’s logo. It lasted for only one season.

1996-2002The Craftsman Truck Series is a better name and the logo, while still bearing a 1990’s style design, is more refined and professional.

2003-2008The entire logo is inside the oval, some minor color and typeface changes are present as well. 2005 featured the 10th Anniversary logo. 2009-2018 The same off-center oval design as the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup logos, with a sponsor redesign for Camping World, who took over for Craftsman after 2009.

2019-???Gander Mountain takes over from Camping World. They are both owned by the same company. This results in a new logo, this one with a black rectangle, outlined in blue, with a blue rectangle with white lettering.

Next week, we revisit a pair of racing gloves.

auto racing · friday feature

Partnerships In Racing Can Get Confusing Sometimes

By David G. Firestone

Like many businesses, race teams often form partnerships to enhance business, or to stay afloat. Technical partnerships are one example, but there are other instances of struggling race teams teaming up to field race cars.

One such example of multiple teams fielding cars is the TMG/Circle Sport/RCR deal in 2017. Circle Sport merged with The Motorsports Group to field #33 for a limited schedule in 2017. RCR was also running the #33 for a limited schedule in 2017, so a deal was in place for all involved. Speaking as a race fan, I can tell you that this whole deal was needlessly confusing. Why not get a different car number than 33, so RCR could do what they want, and Circle Sport/TMG could do what they want.

This pit crew jacket, made by Alliance, and rated SFI-1, was worn by a crew member named J Mays was worn during 2017. Alliance has been around for a few years. They are apparently based in McDonough, Georgia, though their own website states that they are based in Riverton, Illinois. This single-layer jacket shows light use.The blue collar has a Velcro closure, and has no adornment whatsoever.There is a care tag, and a warranty label in the cowl, with J MAYS written in Sharpie on it.The right chest features a MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES logo and a LITTLE JOE’S AUTO logos embroidered.The left chest features a GOODYEAR and CURTIS KEY PLUMBING logos embroidered.There is a hybrid CIRCLE SPORT/TMG THE MOTORSPORTS GROUP logo on the front torso.Unlike some other pit crew jackets, this particular example does not have any comfort straps. There are blue and white stripe designs at the hems. The shoulders are blue, with white outlines, and are unadorned. The right sleeve features SUNOCO, MOOG, WIX FILTERS, and ALLIANCE RACE WEAR logos on the upper sleeve, and nothing in television position. The left sleeve features NASCAR, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS, ZAK, and INCREDIBLE BANK logos on the upper sleeve, and nothing in television position. The back of the suit shows some light wear.The back of the neck features a CHEVROLET logo, and the Twitter and Facebook handles for Circle/Sport and The Motorsports Group, @CSTMG3330 and CSTMG3330.The back torso features the same CIRCLE SPORT/TMG THE MOTORSPORTS GROUP logo as the front torso.Next week, a look at the history of the logos of the three NASCAR national series logos.

auto racing · friday feature

G-Force…Not A Scientific Law, But A Firesuit Manufacturer.

By David G. Firestone

G-Force Racing is a company that makes auto racing safety products. They have been around some years now. While they do show up in the big leagues every so often, they are dwarfed by the major racing safety companies. One example of them showing up in the big leagues is an example from FAS Lane Racing.

Go FAS Racing began life as one of Jack Roush’s Cup teams. In 2010, Roush sold Bill Jenkins the equipment, and Latitude 43 Motorsports was born. After the 2010 season, Jenkins decided to sell the team to crew chief Frank Stoddard, who founded FAS Lane Racing in 2011. In 2014, the team merged with Go Green Racing to form Go FAS Racing, which operates to this day.

One of FAS Lane Racing’s sponsors during their first seasons was US Chrome. US Chrome sponsored Mike Bliss, Terry Labonte, and Ken Schrader in 2011. US Chrome also sponsored T.J. Bell, Mike Bliss, Ken Schrader, ans Timmy Hill in 2012. During those seasons, a crew member wore this double layer G-Force pit crew jacket. The jacket shows a decent amount of use, with scuffs and stains.The collar is of the standard variety.The cowl has a warranty label, and has care instructions. The name ABNER is embroidered into the collar. The right chest has a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo, and a GOODYEAR logo embroidered into it.The left chest features a FAS LANE RACING logo, and a SOUTHERN PRIDE logo embroidered.The front torso features a U.S. CHROME PERFORMANCE COATINGS logo embroidered in white and blue on the red material.The shoulders feature epaulets in white outlined in blue. A G-FORCE PRO SERIES RACING GEAR patch is present year the arm gusset. The right sleeve features a SUNOCO logo and a FEDERATED AUTO PARTS logo embroidered on the top of the sleeve, but nothing in television position. The left sleeve features a C&J ENERGY SERVICES logo and a NASCAR logo embroidered on the top of the sleeve, but nothing in television position. The back of the suit shows some light wear.The back of the neck is unadorned.The back torso features a U.S. CHROME PERFORMANCE COATINGS logo embroidered in white and blue on the red material.Next week, another pit crew jacket.

auto racing · friday feature

Another Look At Podium Caps Part 2

By David G. Firestone

Hailing from Arras, France, Frédéric Makowiecki has been a staple on the endurance racing circuit since 2010. He has numerous wins in endurance racing, including winning the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. He has raced in a number of racing series, including the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the Weathertech SportsCar Championship the GT1 World Championship, Super GT, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series featured 5 races. The first three, Monza, Silverstone, and Le Castellet had a duration of three hours. The fourth race, the 2013 24 Hours of Spa, was a 24 hour long race, and the final race, held at the Nürburgring had a distance of 1000 km (621.371 miles). At the Silverstone event, Makowiecki, along with Stefan Mücke, and Darren Turner won the event, driving the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Aston Martin Racing 86 laps for a distance of 314 miles. On the podium, Makowiecki wore this cap, which he later signed.  The cap shows light use, having only been worn once. There is a large PIRELLI logo embroidered on the front. Makowiecki has signed the brim in silver Sharpie.The left side features a plant design on the brim, and I have no idea what the name for that is. Otherwise, the left side is unadorned.The back of the cap features a smaller PIRELLI logo embroidered above the Velcro closure.Like the left side, the right side features a leaf design on the brim, and is otherwise unadorned.The top of the cap features a black squatchee.The inside of the cap features a care tag, and there isn’t any wear to speak of.Next week, a pit crew jacket.

auto racing · friday feature

Another Look At Podium Caps Part 1

By David G. Firestone

For the next few weeks, I will be discussing podium caps. Podium caps are also referred to as victory lane hats, hat dance caps, and race winner hats depending on where in the world they are used. In NASCAR, the driver and their crew wear an event hat, followed by the hat dance, which gives every sponsor a picture of their logo on the hats of the winning drivers. In most other forms of auto racing, the top three drivers will wear hats on the podium.

The NHRA has their own cap protocol. In 2019, In the NHRA, winner, champion and interview hats are all of the same design. For the driver who qualifies #1, they are given a green hat, with a #1 Qualifier patch with their respective class. The drivers who win the event get a yellow cap, with a winner patch to wear, similar in design to the #1 qualifier hat. The cap color is yellow, on the patch, the word WINNER replaces #1. As with the qualifier hat, the race venue is embroidered into the back strap.

Prior to Mello Yellow taking over as the titular sponsor in 2013, the NHRA’s top series was know as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. It was named after Full Throttle, an energy drink. Not long after switching sponsorships, Full Throttle was sold to Monster Energy. It was around this time that Jason Line began having success in the Pro Stock division.

Jason Line was born in Wright, Minnesota. He began racing at age 16 in Brainerd. In addition to racing, he was also a crew member for Joe Gibbs Racing. He has 48 Pro Stock, two stock eliminator wins and three championships to his name. He currently races for KB Racing, alongside Bo Butner and Greg Anderson.

In 2010, Jason Line had one win, the 2010 Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. He beat Mike Edwards in the finals. During the post-race celebration, one crew member wore this victory lane hat. The hat is in great condition, still containing the cardboard in the front.The left side of the cap has a yellow and black PRO STOCK WINNER patch embroidered.The back of the cap has an NHRA embroidered logo. Unlike more recent victory lane caps, the event location is not on the Velcro strap.The right side of the cap has 2010 embroidered on the brim, but is otherwise unadorned.The top of the cap has a matching gray squatchee, and no other adornment.The inside of the hat doesn’t show use, and still has the cardboard still present in the front.Another cap, this one a black event cap, accompanies the gray victory lane cap. The cap is branded as a victory lane cap, but all the research I’ve done hasn’t led to any proof that this was worn in victory lane. The cap is black, with a TIRE KINGDOM GATORNATIONALS logo on the front, and WINNER’S CIRCLE 2010 on the back. No NHRA or other logos are present. The cap is in great condition, not showing any use.

For this week, I discussed the American version of a podium cap. Next week, an international podium cap.

auto racing · friday feature

My Trip to Miller Valley Part 2-Bud Vs Miller

By David G. Firestone

Ah yes, The Great Light Beer Corn Syrup Debate of 2019 rolls on. For those who have been living under a rock for the last few months, let’s catch up. During the most boring Super Bowl of all time, Bud Light did a commercial where they talked about how Miller Lite and Coors Light use corn syrup in their beer, and made the point that they don’t use it, and are more open about their ingredients. See for yourself:

This seemingly innocuous commercial really got under the skin of MillerCoors, who openly defended their use of corn syrup. This also got the attention of the National Corn Growers Association, who prided MillerCoors for using their product, and blasted Bud Light. Eventually, MillerCoors abandoned a partnership with AB InBev, Bud Light’s parent company. Granted the partnership was shakier than a fault line during an earthquake, but the whole bitterness between MilerCoors and AB InBev based on this commercial is what killed it.

Since I’ve done both the Budweiser and Miller Brewery tours one year apart to the day, I decided that I would decide which of the two is better, Budweiser in St. Louis, or Miller in Milwaukee. I will break my analysis down into three parts: overall cost, tour experience, and other experiences.

We’ll start with overall cost.

Miller has a one-size fits all tour. It’s $10, and I discussed it last week. Budweiser has a number of different tours.

*First is The General Brewery Tour, which features the seven-step process in making beer. It’s 45 minutes, and tickets are free if available, or $5 reserved.

*The second tour is the Day Fresh Tour, which adds 30 minutes worth of additional features, including the canning facility. It also comes with samples, and a free bottle of beer that is freshly bottled. This costs $10.

*The third option is The Beermaster Tour, which I did last year. This is a 2-hour long tour, which, in addition to all of the locations of the Day Fresh Tour, also includes the museum, and a sample from the finishing tank. This costs $35

So based on the values and experiences, I would have to give the nod to Budweiser’s St. Louis tour for overall cost.

Next is tour experience. As I mentioned, I took the Beermaster tour when I was in St. Louis, and the Miller Tour in Milwaukee. Based on what is discussed, and what is shown on both tours, giving Budweiser the nod here is the only way to go. The Miller tour is good, but too short, and doesn’t cover the entire brewing process. Budweiser’s tour is much more inclusive, and goes deeper in the brewing process. Even the General Brewery tour covers more of the brewing process than Miller’s does. Next, we come to other experiences. When I got to Milwaukee, I was stunned to discover that Miller doesn’t have a true bier garden. You can have some growlers filled, but you can get that at any brewery. While the Miller Inn does act as an indoor version, it just seems odd in this respect that there wouldn’t be a true bier garden at a brewery founded by a German immigrant.

Budweiser, on the other hand, has an impressive bier garden. They have a decent brew pub menu, and the food I tries was good. They also have a great selection of beer. You can try what is called “The Underground Menu” which consists of whatever is being worked on in the Research Pilot Brewery. On the day I was there, the choice was Backdraft, a chocolate stout made by the St. Louis Fire department. One could spend an entire day in the bier garden alone…which I did.

Above and beyond that, aside from the general tour, there really isn’t as much to do at Miller. You can go to the gift shop, but that isn’t that great. The one thing I expected was a make your own six pack with Miller products. That doesn’t exist, for reason I can’t understand. So, aside from the tour, Miller really isn’t that fun.

Budweiser also offers some other experiences. The Clydesdales are included in all of the tours. Also, there are some experiences for those who want to educate themselves about brewing. The first is Beer School, which I did last year. It’s a 45 minute class, and you sample several kinds of beer, and learn about the on the ingredients and brewing processes, as well as food pairings. This costs $15 The newest experience is the Where You Brew tour, which takes you through the beer making process, in a hands on experience. You will then have some appetizers, and discuss beer and food pairings. You will then also receive a 32 ounce custom growler full of beer. This costs $50.

The Beer Museum Tour takes you to the Old Lyon Schoolhouse building on the brewery campus. Inside, you will find a complete history of Budweiser, told in the form of over 400 items, ranging from giveaways, to factory equipment, to sports memorabilia, to research examples. This can be accessed with any tour for $5, but if you want to check it out by itself, it will set you back $15. It should be noted that the Old Lyon Schoolhouse building was, for a while, the Anheuser-Busch corporate headquarters. So for other experiences, Budweiser again gets the nod. So all in all, Budweiser provides the better brewery experience for a tourist or local. Miller is good, but it could be a lot better. Beer enthusiasts like myself would enjoy both though, so check them out.

Next week, back to the regularly scheduled podium caps.

auto racing · friday feature

My Trip to Miller Valley Part 1

By David G. Firestone

I had planned to talk about some winner circle hats this week, but we’re going to put those on the back burner for a bit. My cousin and I had the opportunity last week to go to the Miller Brewing Company and take their brewery tour, so I did. I hadn’t planned on really traveling this year, but when the opportunity arose, I took it.

The drive from Chicago to Milwaukee is not a difficult one, and it gave us a chance to hang out. Once there, we found the visitor center, albeit with a lot of difficulty, as the signage there can be pointlessly confusing at times. The cost is $10, and for that, you get a 1 hour tour, four samples of beer, and a souvenir pint glass.

Aside from Miller, Milwaukee has a great deal of beer history. Brands such as Schlitz, Pabst, Blatz, and Milwaukee’s Best can all trace their history back to 1800’s Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s proximity to Chicago is a major factor in the success of the breweries. Beer is so attached to Milwaukee, that their baseball team is named the Brewers. There are also some well-known craft breweries in Milwaukee, including Sprecher Brewing, Lakefront Brewing, and Milwaukee Brewing.

The brewery was founded in 1855 by Frederick Miller. Miller was a German brewer who moved to Milwaukee with the lessons of German brewing, and a special strand of brewer’s yeast. He moved in to the Plank Road Brewery on Watertown Plank Road, and began producing beer in what is now known as “Miller Valley.” The business was a family one until 1966, when the family sold it to W. R. Grace and Company. One acquisition after another led to MillerCoors, which runs the business today.

The tour starts in the lobby, where there is a history of the brewery on the wall, some artifacts, and the gift shop.  The tour is every half hour, and you start by watching a movie discussing this history of the brewery. You then head down to “the caves.” The caves are a set of man made caves dug into the valley. These were used to store beer in a cold environment. Barrels were stacked into the 600 foot deep caves, and ice was packed around them to keep the beer fresh. With the advent of pasteurization, the caves were not needed. All but one of them were filled in, in order to help the structural integrity of the valley. The next stop on the tour is the Miller Inn. This 1800’s Bavarian inn has a lot of old world charm and a lot of Miller memorabilia. Your stop here includes a sample of beer, I went with Blue Moon Mango Wheat. You don’t have to drink, because for those who choose not to drink, or those under 21 can have some soda. During the first half of the tour, the history of the brewery is the focus. The next half of the tour focuses on the brewing of the beer, You go to the brew house, and you go up to the lauter tun. A mash made of barley, water, barley malt syrup, corn syrup, yeast, and hops is transferred to the lauter tun, which converts the mash to wort. The wort is then transferred to the brew kettle, which separates the liquid from the solid.

The rest of the brewing process is then diagrammed on the wall near the brew kettle.The next stop on the tour is the packaging plant, where you watch a movie about the packaging process and history. You can see the plant in action from the safety of the balcony. As you exit the top balcony, you approach the storage area, and you see what I consider the highlight of the tour: That is a Rusty Wallace Ford Taurus circa 2001, with the Winston Cup, and Busch Pole decals removed. That was a nice surprise. The tour then concludes back at the visitor center, where you get your final sample, and your free pint glass. It’s not long, but it’s fun nonetheless.

By pure coincidence, I had taken the Budweiser tour one year ago to the day I took the Miller tour. I thought next week, I would compare the two tours.

auto racing · friday feature

Ryan Newman’s Non-Race Used Gloves

By David G. Firestone

I cover a lot of topics here on The Driver Suit Blog, but one thing I haven’t touched is the category of signed non-race used gloves. I’ve covered race-used gloves and signed race used gloves before. Drivers will sign most things, so a brand new pair of racing gloves isn’t that strange. From my perspective, I’m into race-used memorabilia, instead of replica items, for obvious reasons.

Nicknamed The Rocket Man, Ryan Newman has done a lot in his NASCAR career. He won the 2008 Daytona 500, the 50th Anniversary of the Daytona 500, the 2013 Brickyard 400,, and the 2002 Winston. He has 18 wins in the Cup Series, 7 wins in the Xfinity Series, and 1 win in the Truck Series. At some point, he autographed a series of Simpson SFI-certified gloves, which are unused, and in great condition, showing no use at all. The right glove has the SFI certification. The glove is signed just below the fingers, and is the duller of the two signatures. The left glove is rather unadorned, but has the brighter of the two signatures. OK, with that done, let’s get to:

TAILGATING TIME

One of my favorite chicken recipes is:

Hasselback Fried Chicken

5 Servings

Ingredients:

5 medium sized chicken breasts

2 cups flour, sifted, in a bowl

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups breadcrumbs

3 liters oil

Directions:

1-Preheat the oil to 160°C/380°F.

2-Take each chicken breasts and cut parallel lines almost all of the way through, around 1/2 a cm apart, down the length of each breast.

3-Dip the breasts in the flour, making sure it gets down all the slits, then shake off the excess.

4-Dip them in the eggs and shake off the excess then roll them thoroughly in breadcrumbs.

5-Pick them up cut side up with a pair of tongs, letting them drape over the sides, then dip them in the hot oil, letting them cook to hold their shape before letting go and letting them cook in the hot oil for around 4 minutes, until brown and cooked through.

For the next couple of weeks, I will examine some victory lane caps. Next week, I will look at a couple of Jason Line caps.