Tag:Dale Earnhardt
Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:48 pm

Yet another Earnhardt coaster in the works

It seems DEI is getting into the coaster/amusement park business as a second Dale Earnhardt-inspired coaster was announced today.

Last week I blogged about a coaster dubbed Intimidator 305 being constructed at Kings Dominion in Virginia.

Well, a little bit closer to the NASCAR homebase in Charlotte, N.C., another Intimidator is going up at Carowinds, a sister park of Kings Dominion.

Carowinds is dubbing their Intimidator as "the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the southeast", though it won't be quite as tall or as fast as the 305. I guess "southeast" is the keyword there. It will have a slighly longer track and running time than the 305.

The unique feature of the Carowinds Intimidator is the ride cars that will feature open-air stadium-style seating with a T-bar restraint rather than an over the shoulder harness.

So if you'd like further details about this particular Earnhardt coaster, check out this web site: http://www.intimidator.carowinds.co

Looks like yet another amusement park I'll have to pay a visit in the coming summers.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: August 20, 2009 12:06 pm

Earnhardt Sr. inspiration for new roller-coaster

As a coaster enthusiast and Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan, imagine my intrigue when an e-mail came through my inbox announcing an Earnhardt-inspired coaster dubbed Intimidator 305.

Intimidator 305And this thing sounds awesome. Set to open in April of 2010 at Kings Dominion in Virginia, it features a 300 foot first drop and reaches speeds in excess of 90 mph with a ride time of three minutes. The ride trains will take inspiration from Earnhardt's famed black No. 3 car (though from the virtual renderings it doesn't appears as if the No. 3 appears on the actual train). The coaster is being built in parternship with Dale Earnhardt Inc.

You can check out a web site dedicated to the ride featuring artist renderings, virtual ride video and more: http://www.intimidator305.com/

Eventually I hope to visit all the great coaster parks like Kings Dominion and Cedar Point, but I'm waiting for my kids to get a little older. Hopefully they'll enjoy coasters as much as I do -- and at an earlier age as I was a late bloomer. It wasn't until I was in high school that I really became a fan. For years you couldn't even get me to go on Disney's Space Mountain, which aside from being in the dark, is a fairly tame coaster. But now I'll go on anything.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: August 5, 2008 1:29 pm

When fandom and work collide

So CBSSports.com senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish was featured in a Q&A on A Sea of Blue, a site dedicated to the University of Kentucky athletics.

What struck me was the following response --

ASOB -- You're from Olive Branch, MS, which is only a few miles from Memphis.  Did you grow up a Memphis fan or did you root for one of the Mississippi schools?

GP -- "I'm actually from Horn Lake, MS, but now I live in Olive Branch.  Same thing really.  But anyway, yeah, I grew up a Memphis fan. Keith Lee was my childhood hero, Penny Hardaway too.  But when I got out of college -- and before I got this job at CBS -- I covered the Tigers for five seasons for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, and the 'fan' aspect totally disappeared.  I mean, sitting courtside at this years national title game should've been one of the highlights of my life.  But it wasn't.  I was indifferent to the whole thing, and I don't say that in an attempt to prove I'm impartial.  It kinda makes me sad, actually, because the main reason I wanted to be a sports writer was because I loved sports, and I don't really love sports anymore.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my job and consider myself lucky to have it.  But I have no emotional interest in any team in any sport anymore, and sometimes I wish that wasn't so because there's something nice about living and dying with a team." 

In a way I'm like this too, though not to the point where I don't root for anybody in any sport. After 10+ years in the sports media, while I still have teams I follow religously (see the logos of my favorite teams above), I don't get the sense of fulfillment I enjoyed in my youth.

I especially lived and died by the Miami Dolphins. Losses were especially painful. But through last year's 1-15 season I was numb to it and basically just shrugged it off. Perhaps it's just maturity. With three kids I have more important things to worry about than whether the Dolphins win or lose (though I'd still much prefer they win).

Perhaps if they ever turn the corner and become good again I'll feel that tinge of excitement, but it just hasn't felt the same since Dan Marino left (and Packers fans, trust me, though it's a bit ugly right now, a few years down the road you're going to feel the same way about Favre).

Which brings me to auto racing.

I find it hilarious the varying opinions whenever I write my Power Rankings of who I like and who I dislike. Some think I love Roush Racing. Some say I love Hendrick Motorsports. Others believe I have a vendetta against RCR. It goes on and on.

But quite honestly, what has happened to me over the years with auto racing is that I've become more appreciative of the sport as a whole, especially in the years since Dale Earnhardt Sr. died.

It's no secret since I've written it in a previous blog that I was a huge fan of Earnhardt growing up. And I was diehard. It was Dolphins 1, Earnhardt 2 in my book. So much so that when shopping for cars when I came of age, I wouldn't touch Ford and owned mostly GM products through the years.

That's no longer the case. I've come to my senses and realized how dumb that really was. I've missed out on some pretty good car deals

In any case, all these drivers, manufacturers, teams and whatnot are the same in my book nowadays. I just want to see some exciting. down-to-the- wire races. I don't care if it's Junior battling Kyle Busch or Scott Riggs vs. Dave Blaney, as long as I see a good show, I'm happy.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com