I have awesome news to share. I’m going to the NASCAR races at California Speedway this weekend and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the following weekend. I’ve got credentials and I’ll be in the garage, the pits, everywhere!

Well maybe not everywhere, but the fact that I’ll be there at all is absolutely wonderful. I’m beyond excited that I get to go to not one, but two races in a row. That’s my new personal best in consecutive race attendance.

In other news…

— If you’re looking for a truly creative way to propose to your girlfriend ya gotta enter this contest from Harlequin (the publishers of NASCAR licensed romance novels). Your proposal could be on Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Ford Fusion during the 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.

Kurt Busch is tending bar again:

Kurt is set for a Miller Lite Southern California “Pub Crawl” this Friday night. Included in his stops are Hooters at 725 Milliken Ave. in Ontario (8:30 p.m.) and Buffalo Wild Wings at 8188 Day Creek Blvd. in Rancho Cucamonga at 9:15 p.m., where he will be serving as a celebrity bartender.

Jamie McMurray went flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds last week. I think they showed just a little bit of the footage during the pre-race show for the Daytona 500. Jeff Hammond was there too. Check out the details:

After a 45-minute flight that included a maximum vertical climb takeoff, high-speed rolls and turns and aggressive tactical maneuvers, the F-16 touched down safely on the runway.

When the two climbed out of the jet, Major Mulhare awarded McMurray with a “9-G” pin. The pin is only given to those participants who are able to endure 9 G-forces during the flight.

“I can’t believe we just did what we did,” said McMurray following the flight. “What a thrill to be able to fly with some of the greatest pilots in the world. Today Major Mulhare showed me what it is like to fly at speeds of over 500mph. The minute we took off, I knew it was going to be a fun ride.”

Three days later, the pilot and crew attended the race at Daytona International Speedway and were there to shake McMurray’s hand before he climbed into his No. 26 Ford.

“I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they go through. It was really cool to see how much their ‘pit crew’ is like our crew. Before the flight they went through everything with me to make sure I understood what was going to take place in the air. Then, right before we took off, the crew went over the entire jet again to make sure everything was set for our flight. They made sure everything was crossed off their list. I have to say, I was very impressed.

“Overall it was a pretty amazing experience to fly with Major Mulhare and the entire Thunderbirds crew.”

Jamie McMurray Takes Off

Jamie McMurray Post Flight

Jamie McMurray and Jeff Hammond Flight Overview

Jamie McMurray Suits Up