All posts by Mr. Ono

Oct. 2016

Its been a longtime since I wrote a new blog.  Things have been a little crazy the last year .  There was a new addition to our family.  We adopted a German Shepherd.


Our new big guy is named Sammy Dale Earnhardt.  Sammy was a rescue from Helping German Shepherds of Every Color.  He has a great personality.   He loves just about everyone and is great company for Reba.


Reba Whiteshoes Johnson is very cute but she is more like a cat sometimes than a dog. So now we are a two dog household..

Other things have kept me busy but I am going to post a blog at least once a month. Stay Tuned.

2011 Fan Fest

This is a long note and was written at 1 AM.

Well it’s  Thursday morning and I am so out of it time wise.  I don’t know if I should be sleeping, eating breakfast or outside on the trail of NASCAR stuff..  I do know that I have to give a big shout out to James and Lorri.  Like the Bud Lite commercial: “I LOVE YOU MAN”.  You two rock  and I hope one day we can return the favor when you come out  to Dega.

FanFest at Fremont St. was not a complete success.  I know Las Vegas Motor Speedway and NASCAR wanted it there, to increase awareness and draw in to people but for the fans that have support them for years here in Las Vegas and  surrounding towns we got run-over literally.  There was no crowd control on the fan’s side of the red carpet. There was pushing and shoving and made for a very worrisome for us who to get here early and wait it out to be in the front. I would recommend that there is a separate area or event for real NASCAR fans to get to interact with their drivers.  LVMS this year had a Nationwide autograph session with about the same number of drivers and it went very well.  Get there early, @ 200 fans, and then you walk the signing table and get your autograph.  When that concludes the drivers walking the Red Carpet .  Drivers can wave, smile, point, jesture and ham it up for the cameras.    This is my idea of how to run this one event.


Drivers who went the extra laps for their fans where I was standing on the Red Carpet were Brad K., Ryan N., Kyle B., Kevin H. and Dale Jr.  Brad K . waited while I struggled to get his Miller Lite die cast from my jacket.  Ryan N. signed our die casts will the silver sharpie that we handed to him.  Some drivers will only sign with their own pen. There are a lot Kyle B., haters out there, I will say Kyle takes care of his fans.  Kevin H.,  I wave him over to say  “Truck owners Champion”.  Maybe he remember me from last year or maybe just because I had on my Dale Sr. Hall of  Fame Jacket.. Kevin said “Thanks , you got anything for me to sign?”  I had a car for him to sign but could not bend down to reach into my bag to pull it out.  The people behind us were pushing and if I bent over I would have been shoved into the railing.  I said: “ yes, but I can’t  get to it.,  I’ll catch up with you at Daytona Fan Fest.” He said “I’ll be there.”


Finally Dale Jr. and yes he has his haters out there too.  Some driver took a fast walk down the Red Carpet, most drivers spent time with the fans, Dale Jr. walked the Red Carpet just like his dad would have. If you had Earnhardt gear he was there signing it for you. Suzanne called Dale Jr. over with “Dale please sign mamaw’s cookbook” He saw the cookbook and came over. I opened the book and he saw all the Earnhardts who had already signed and said “Man that’s a lot of us.”. I said “Thanks JuneBug”. Then he signed a photo of his Mom N Pops Camaro (Suzanne), the die cast of the same car (James) and his 2001 Pepsi 400 car (Lorri).  So each member in our group got an item signed all of which will find a place in my Earnhardt Room. After the last driver passed us and crowd behind thinned enough I got bent down and start organizing what I had, I looked down there was Jr. signing stuff 30 feet, I finally had everything packed I looked down the Red Carpet and Jr. was further down the carpet but was still signing.  Dale Jr. knows he is the face of NASCAR and even if he doesn’t really want to be, he handles his status well.  I think he learned that from Dale Sr.

As the day ended back at the casino, Suzanne and I met Mike Helton in the garage.  I said rather loud, “Suzanne, that’s Mr. NASCAR, Mike Helton.”. He said “Hi folks”. We told him we had just come back from FanFest on Fremont St. He asked “How’d you like it?” So I told him.  “It was good but I like it better when its at the track.” He said “you folks enjoy you stay here”.  I said “we will, we used to live here. Now we live in Dega but we came back for this.” He said “wait a minute you moved from Las Vegas to Alabama?”

I said with a big grin on my face “Yep, wanted to be closer to racing and have a house with some land around it.”.He asked how many races we go to and I added a couple and said “6”.  He said “You folks are fans!”  We smiled, nodded and waved by to him and got into his car and he was off.


That was it for you day.  Not too bad.

NASCAR Road Trip May 2011

Its been a long and fun week.  We left Vegas early Tuesday morning.  Arrived in Bama to check out the house.  Everything was fine during our walk though.  House does need a little work, nothing major, new carpet in the guest bedrooms, re-build the deck “my way” and add a washer/dyer.  We left early Wednesday morning to head to Mooresville N.C.  for Dale Earnhardt Day.  Had a little weather early but then clear skies the rest of the way.  Had dinner that night a Big Daddy’s Seafood.  Good food lots of it and everything is deep fried.   This is the south you know.  Next day visited the race shops off of I 85.  Hit Hendricks and Stewart-Hass, Sam Bass Gallery was closed.  Then North to Richard Childress Racing and Vineyards.  Kenny and Steve treated us great at the gift shop.  Saw Richard as he was leaving the Vineyards.  He was busy talking on the phone but took a second to wave and say hi.   Finished the day with a drive on the old highways back to Mooresville to Jr. Motorsports.  They was a good collection of Dale Jr. die cast on displayed.  That night we had Caroline Ribs on the run BBQ.  Some of the best BBQ I have ever had.

Friday was Dale Earnhardt Day at DEI.  Other than the introduction of the 2011 Intimidator Camaros the only other highlight was hanging out with Al and other Dale Earnhardt fans. Gift shop was understocked in t-shirts.  Very few Large t’s and even fewer XL’s.  If i would have flown out from Vegas just for this event I would have be very disappointed.

We left early Sat. morning to get back to Bama.  People were calling all week asking me about the house.  My answer was its not my house yet, so don’t worry.  The house was fine The area its in was bypassed by the storms.  Most of Saturday was just spent driving around.  Took it easy Saturday night with Suzanne.

Driving Dega

Driving a race car at my favorite track.  A few things on my mind: can I still drive a clutch?, do I have the “balls” to go wide open into the turn? would I do all ten laps? would I want more???  The one thing that never crossed my mind was not being able to climb into the seat.  I should have done some flexability exercises.  This old body doesn’t bend too well.

Driver meeting: does and don’t, driver intros: wave to the “fans”, Driver pics: proof you were there.  Now the fun begins. well almost for me.  Spent a little extra trying to get into the car.  There are no doors, you climb in, I knew that just didn’t know how difficult it would be for me.  Finally I get all strapped in tight, really tight, won’t have to worry about having kids anymore. My instructor and I go over the hand signals and then he say lets go!!  I get it going in 1st gear –  yeah I didn’t stall it in the pits!!!!  Down pit road to the exit, shift to second, pass the start finsih line shift to third, still on the apron and into turn 1, into turn 2 shift to fouth.  down the back stretch and up to the wall to pick up speed.  Ok going about 90 and heading into turn 3.  All the turns are banked a 33 degrees, that is steeper than any hill in San Francisco. I know I not going fast but I wonder how it is going to make this turn.  No worries Turn 3 and 4 now down the front tri-oval and still picking up speed.  Doing about 130 mph now and having fun.  Lap one is done and I’m thinking this is easy.  WRONG!!!!  Doing 140 mph and here comes turn1.  Its pucker time. The car stuck and tracked around turn 1 and 2 with no problems. I’m thinking that was a rush but do I want to do it again???  Too late here comes Turn 3 and 4.

My instructor coaches me though the turns and back down the front tri-oval.  Lap 2 is complete!.  Lap 3 is the same speed and its going a fraction easier. Lap 4 instructor has me push the speed up a little.  And I do 150 moh.  All I am thinking about is hiting my marks into the turns and out of them. Lap 5 we push up the speed a little more. Same speed for Laps 6,7 and 8.  Lap 9 we make a another jump in speed ( 169 mph)  Lap 10 pushed a little more and topped the spped charts at 171.33 mph.  Didn’t even see them wave the checkered flag.   Did my slow down lap and back to the pits.  It was at least a once in a lifetime experience for any fans of NACAR and if you love Talladega like I do then its a must.  I may do it again to see if i can go faster. I even got Suzanne to do a ride a long, and she had a great time with her driver.  What an amazing way to end the week.  Can’t wait for our dvd’s to show up.  We also made a donation to the Alabama Tornado fund.  Dale Jarrett Racing Adventures was taking donation during their classes.

Monday we did all the legal stuff to take claim to our Bama home. Then we flew back to Vegas to start the “fun” of packing.  Today we picked up Saber from the Vet and took her out and came back home and just relaxed for a day

2011 Las Vegas Race week Sunday

Very good day at the track today.  Got there @ 8 AM and went to my secret spot for driver pics.  Was able to get a few more but no Smoke or Happy.  I had cars for them to sign but it didn’t work.  Sunday really isn’t the best day to get autographs.  It is funny how few people here at the Vegas race actually know anything about the race.  Its more of an event that you can say you went to and be seen at.  Drivers like Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, even the race winner slipped by people.  For now Trevor Bayne is the new darling of NASCAR.  That will last until the time NASCAR comes to Daytona and he doesn’t win.  LOL. 

Watched the driver intros with Suzanne and then went to our seats for the race.  I spent the whole day listening to Jr./TJ/Letrate.  Very different relationship with this combo.  Letrate and Jr. work very well together.  Jr.’s feedback is in plain English.  Not one word of Junebugese was heard today.  There is feedback going both ways in a constructive way.  I dare say the the winless streak will end soon. When you start 35th and get a top 10 thats a good day.  None of the HMS cars had enough speed to compete today with Smoke or Carl. Jr. is now 10th in points with back to back top 10’s.

Getting out of the speedway can be trying  but the Dale Earnhardt in me got us out of there and home in under 40 minutes.

going to sit back and relax with Suzanne tonight.  Perfect way to end this weekend.

2011 Las Vegas Race Week Saturday

OMG what a day today. I thought yesterday was amazing, today topped it easily. Got another autograph from Jr., then snapped a few great shots of drivers, then actually talked with the KING, Richard Petty. He even called me “kid”. LOL I asked him to sign my pit pass. Told him I was glad to see him back at the track. He said it feels good to be back. Told him we all missed and are happy to see him looking so Happy and Fit. He said “Thank You kid, thats nice to hear.” I replied “you are the KING” and thanked him for being so gracious with his time. Off he went to AJ garage. I went off to get ready for the Nationwide race. Listen to Danica/TJ/Tony Jr. They have a great working relationship. That team earned its 4th place finish. I don’t know if I was more happy that Danica finished 4th or that Mark won the race. Quick ride home today with the “Cat in the Hat” drafting with me down Craig Rd. to the freeway. Yes Jack Rousch and I drafting. The only way it could have been better if it had been Richard Childress instead of Jack.

2011 Las Vegas Race week Friday

Got to the track around 10 AM and got my Cold Pass for the garage area. (Access when cars are not  going in and out of pits or racing.) Got to the garage area just before 11.  Checked out east side of the pits and found all the HMS cars, Kyle and a few others on that side.  Stopped to take out Jr.’s # 3 Wrangler car just in case I see him.  Zipper up my backpack and there he is walking past.  Caught up to him and asked if he would sign my car.  He reached over for the car, then looked at me, (dressed in Wrangler Twill), he smiled signed the car and handed it back. I said “Thank you Jr.” loud enough that he heard it and just smiled back. Less than 10 minutes in the garage area and I finally got my in person Jr. autograph. My NASCAR weekend was made.  Spend time on pit row taking shots of cars coming in from a practice run.  Got restless and went over to the Nationwide garage.  Most of the team were done for the day, just a few cars being worked on. Saw Tony Sr. and said hi.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the stands waiting and then watching the Cup qualifier.  Great day at the track.

Las Vegas Race week 2011 Thursday

The day started around 9:20.  Off to the track.  Got to the gate just before 10 AM and then we just waited for an hour at Gate B to open.  At 11 AM they opened the gate and we hurried  to the Neon Garage.  That mean walking below the stands. down the stairs then under the race way, pit row and back up to the Neon Garage.  Then we waiting until 1:30 for the drivers to appear.

Observations:  Drivers -Mark is small, Danica might be taller. Carl loves to talk, Trevor is the new golden child of the fans, Danica is still learning this Nascar Fan stuff.  Fans – If you want an autograph get in line early and wait it out.  Treat the drivers with a little more respect.  Trying saying “hi” and “thank you”.

Signing lasted an hour and lots of people were turned away.  I was able to get Mark, Kevin and Dancia to sign there cars. Picked up autographed photocards from all the drivers. Then off we went back to the strip.

Stood in line again at the Pub for Mikey.  Had a pleasant conversation with Mikey.  About his new book and winning at Daytona.

Now I’m home and ready to crash and do it all again tomorrow.  Cup Pole Day and more Nationwide practice.

2009 Fan Fest

Perfect weather, great fans and very friendly Chase Drivers. I would not say they signed everything but they sure signed a lot of items. From my viewpoint the favorites today were Smoke, Jimmy, Jeff, Mark and Carl. For those of you who dislike Juan, he was the most friendly with fans/non fans of all the drivers. He posed and joke with the fans in my area.

I went with the hope of get to see Smoke and maybe get a car signed. Tony was two people and then he turn to the other side of the RED Carpet to continue signing. When I thought at least I got to see Tony up close. He past me on the other side, then turned to return to my side of the red carpet. So I begged a little, yelling “Tony, Please sign my die cast” He looked over saw the Home Depot car and came right over and signed on roof. When he finished I said a very loud “Thank you, Tony” He looked up and smiled. My day was made.

My co-worked had gotten a car signed by Kurt Busch and as Jeff Gordon came by he had Jeff sign his jacket. With Jeff right there I place my other die cast in front of him and he signed that too. That car is going to make a good friend very happy this Xmas. She is a big “24” fan. Co-worker also got a car signed by Jimmy. I didn’t think that Jimmy would be signing much be he signed as much as any of the drivers.

I have a of all the chase cars and a few shots of drivers walking down the Red Carpet. Check the FanFest photo album. I have two more event to attend so I will update more late this week. Right now just enjoying a great day at LVMS.

Thanks LVMS for a wonderful time today. Can’t wait for your 2010 race.


2010 RedRooster 5 Day

First off I would like to thank the anglers who signed up last and had to make changes to their plans to go fishing. I hope all of you can join us this year. Some of you have already sent in your deposits; thank you.

The 2010 trip is a little different that the usual trips we plan on the Red Rooster III. The dates have been changed to late Sept. rather than early Aug. This increases our change of getting good YFT at Guadalupe Island. As well as maybe an outside chance of a stray wahoo or two.

We have also changed the passenger load from 30 down to 26. That will decrease some but not all of the traffic at the bait tank. So I am looking forward to going fishing with all of you. I might be a little rusty since it will be over 2 years without going fishing when the trip arrives. Just saying that hurts.

sea ya soon,


Guadalupe YFT on 25lb. test

Guadalupe YFT on 25lb. test