tampabay.com

Speed reading

By BRANT JAMES
Published July 30, 2005


CUT-UP: Nextel Cup driver Brian Vickers played along with a fake news piece on Comedy Central's The Daily Show this week, in which one of his sponsors, hair care product manufacturer Garnier Fructis, is accused of ruining the moral fiber of male NASCAR fans by encouraging them to wear stylish 'dos. Answers to some of Vickers' questions were edited and applied to different questions for comedic effect, but according to the Hendrick Motorsports public relations staff, he was aware of the joke and enjoyed it, as did the sponsor.

THE INDIGESTIONATOR: Richard Childress, who won six Cup championships as team owner with the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., has broadened his culinary empire with the introduction of a signature line of premium smoked sausages.

Childress' vineyard in Lexington, N.C., produced what USA Today critics deemed the best among 11 sampled celebrity wine labels in a July 8 article.

WHITT AND WISDOM: Brandon Whitt, who won his NASCAR truck series race July 23 at Memphis Motorsports Park, doesn't know if hockey fans should forgive the NHL after a lockout wiped out the 2004-05 season.

"It's like walking out on your wife for a week. You can't walk back in the door, give her a wave, tell her you missed her and expect her to start cooking dinner," he said. "You break somebody's heart and you don't know if you will ever win it back. But you had better start quick and work hard to do it."

FAST COMPANY: Dan Wheldon, the Indianapolis 500 winner, IndyCar points leader and St. Petersburg resident, has added fashion plate to his resume. He has reached a sponsorship deal with Blue Collar Ethic Clothing to provide his personal wardrobe and design a line of logo apparel for retail sale.

Said Wheldon: "They're cool. They're trendy. They're vintage. And they're all about fast cars, rock 'n' roll music, the nightlife and looking good. I'm a racecar driver and that's what I'm all about."