I have to let you in on something that severely hurts my heart every time I think about it. Maybe by writing about it it won’t hurt as much.

I could have gone to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this week, but for reasons I won’t go into here I wasn’t able to attend.

This makes me severely depressed. I mean, what could be better than spending three days in Vegas with Dale Earnhardt Jr.?, I mean, with all those NASCAR drivers and their teams? Right, yeah, that’s what I meant.

But I’m moving on and I’m looking forward to the season ahead. There are a bunch of new faces to watch this year, for example, Ricky Carmichael and A.J. Allmendinger.

Ricky comes from the world of motocross and A. J. is from Champ Car. Carmichael is only 27 but yet his name is synonymous with motocross (and local Morgan Hill company Fox Racing). He won’t be in the Nextel Cup series anytime soon though, he’ll work his way up from the bottom, starting with super-late-model and Arca races. Which I think is the totally right way to go. I don’t like the idea of people being able to just jump into Nextel Cup races straight outta the gate.

That’s like a famous pro football player switching to baseball and being the starting picture for a major league team. Ridiculous. They should go down to some minor league team, learn and prove themselves.

But apparently Allmendinger is good enough to roll right on into Cup racing. He’ll be apart of Team Red Bull in a Toyota Camry ride.

In other news…

Oh how I wish I had DirecTV right now. DirecTV is launching a new premium service called HotPass that will allow you to watch ONLY your favorite driver during a NASCAR race.

Each channel has its own announcers dedicated to that driver, real-time stats and six different cameras. At any given time, two of those angles are shown — along with the network feed — on a triple-split screen.

NASCAR’s entire 37-race season costs $99 for DirecTV subscribers. And starting in 2008, everything will be available in high definition.

”It’s the home-team channel for your driver,” said Chris Long, the executive producer for HotPass. ”You’re going to hear driver audio. You’ll have the ability to listen (to the team), or you can listen to the announcers.”

The access is amazing, but I wonder how much longer it’ll be before we’re watching our fave drivers 24/7, while their showering or eating dinner. Read more about this by clicking here.

Jimmie Johnson poses with two young fans on Jimmie Johnson Day in San Diego on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at the San Diego Hall of Champions. (Photo Credit: Kent Horner/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch, left, talks with Dale Earnhardt Jr., right, during NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing. (Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images for NASCAR)

AJ Allmendinger takes a break during NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Jarrett talks with the media during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Go Colts!