Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Happens in Sonoma...

The Days of Wine and Lug Nuts
the continuing saga of the Maltese Lug Nut

It was a dark and stormy night. NASCAR Chief Inspector Helton put down the note and turned to his computer. He pulled up the FOXSports NASCAR blog pages and scanned them for any information he could find on Kristen and the Maltese Lug Nut. One particular blog entry caught his attention almost immediately. His jaw dropped as he began reading. There in front of him for the entire world to see was all the information concerning Kristen's meeting with her gang: date, time, and place. As he scrolled through the comments, he got even luckier. There was the list of gang members who would be attending the meeting. Helton picked up the phone and started dialing.

"Meeting in the NASCAR hauler Friday morning at Sonoma," Helton barked to the party on the other end of the line. "Don't be late. I'd hate to have to make an example of you, too." Helton hung up the phone and made several more calls, each with the same message as the first.
Friday morning at the track, the men who had received the phone calls assembled at the NASCAR hauler. Helton was waiting for them.

"Good morning, gentlemen. We have a crisis on our hands," Helton told the assembly.

"What is it now?" asked one of the men. "Knaus up to something again?"

"I wish it were that simple, Dave," Helton commented to Dave Blaney. "This is much more serious. The Maltese Lug Nut is still missing."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead," joked Todd Bodine. The room erupted in laughter.

"Watch it Bodine," Helton told the jokester. "You're on thin ice as it is. Your performance at Martinsville was disappointing at best. Most would call it downright disgraceful." The driver jumped up from his seat ready for a fight.

"Look, Phil thinks this whole idea of using the start and park drivers as garage spies is ridiculous. No one is going to tell us anything," Bodine snapped back.

"Perhaps Phil would like a taste of the Carl Long treatment," Helton threatened. Bodine sat back down. "I didn't think so. If you want to park your car after three laps, then you have to earn that prize money in other ways." Heltom turned his attention back to the entire group. "Now, the Valus gang will be here this weekend. I've learned that they will all have pit passes, so keep your eyes and ears open."

"How are we supposed to know what they look like?" asked Joe Nemechek.

"You won't," Helton admitted as he handed out dossiers on the Valus gang members. "We only have pictures of Kristen."

"So we're supposed to figure out just which fans out of the thousands that will be at the track are Kristen's gang members withour so much as a hint of what they look like?" Bodine asked incredulously. "Man, you've been drinking Jeremy's kool-aid."

"We know when and where they're meeting," Helton informed the group, "and the dossiers should help some. You'll know which drivers to give special attention. I'll leave it to you to work out the details among yourselves." The drivers left the hauler and returned to their garages.


Later that afternoon, as the teams prepared for practice and qualifying, no one noticed the petite brunette slip into the hauler of Roush/Fenway driver David Ragan. She made her way to the back of the hauler and up to the office. Jack Roush was sitting behind the desk waiting for her.

"Hello, Melissa, Did anyone see you?" he asked.

"I don't think so," she replied.

"Good. You know why you're here." Roush said.

"You want me to find out what Kristen did with the Maltese Lug Nut."

"Precisely. Do you think she suspects anything?" he queried.

"No, sir," the girl answered, "but what makes you think she'll tell me anything. Helton had Dale Jr. talk to her and got nothing."

"That's where Helton went wrong," Roush remarked. "She was star struck, and now he thinks his start and park spies are going to be able to find the Lug Nut."

"I'll do my best, sir," she told Roush.

"I know you will," the owner remarked. "Make sure no one sees you when you leave."

"Yes, sir." The young woman slipped out of the hauler as easily as she had gotten in and blended in with the other fans at the track.


  1. A double secret agent?

    LOL @ the 'Carl Long treatment'

  2. Me star struck!??! LOL You know it pains me dearly not to give Junior the lug when he clearly needs it!

    Good God I bunked with Melissa all weekend! I better go see if I can find *The Lug*!

    (Love it SB!!!!!!!!)

  3. Hanny-

    Looks that way.

    Evidently, Carl didn't want to go along with the program.

  4. Fantastic!!! Keep them comming. Love the - ?" Bodine asked incredulously. "Man, you've been drinking Jeremy's kool-aid." LMAO


  5. This is great! Kristen is sneaky with that lug...trying to make us think she doesn't know where it is. Thanks for all the help. Between you and Kristen I think I've got it now. BTW, the blogs on FOX disappeared a few minutes ago.

  6. F2-

    Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.

  7. Volfan-

    Isn't she though. Unfortunately, I think Helton has met his match.

    Glad you found us.

  8. said it before, and I'll say it again...
    "I know nuttink!"

    Hmmmmm, where do my loyalties lie?

  9. RA6AN-

    Yeah, yeah, yeah...

    (Thanks for being a good sport.)

  10. Great job SB!! This and a Mike Hanner all in the same week. What more can a Nascar blogger ask for. I look forward to more...

  11. You're welcome, stork. Thanks for reading.

  12. Wow! another mini series in the making here, too? lol You guys are gifted!

  13. Beverly-

    Thanks. The Maltese Lug Nut has been around for almost a year now(it started last year at with the September race at California). The previous two installments are here- the first is titled "Mystery in the NASCAR Garages" and the second is "More Shenanigans in the NASCAR Garages"

  14. I would say I have it, but I got it from Jeff Burton's pit. I KNOW Burton doesn't have it--he's not running well enough!

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah, and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead," joked Todd Bodine. The room erupted in laughter.

    LMAO!!! I didn't think Todd Bodine KNEW who Franco WAS!!! But whoever suggested the S&P's as spies needs to rethink that strategy!

    Great Maltese Lug Nut as usual, SB!!

  15. jon-

    the s&p drivers have to earn that prize money some way since they don't want to stay out on the track.
    We suspect that the idea to use them as spies was most likely one of Brian's ideas.

    glad you liked it.

  16. Just an observation here, but has anyone else noticed that the last two times I have posted blogs concerning the Maltese Lug Nut, a certain "Hotfoot" has been curiously absent from the discussions. Hmmmm, and I do remember Kristen being in Alabama last October :o)

  17. And that blasted Smoke is running SHOCKINGLY well...HMMMmmmmmmmm

  18. Considering the 'unexpected' outcome of the race............................

  19. Kristen-

    Maybe you should ask Tony about the Lug Nut at his next press conference. I'm sure he'd *LOVE* that question. :o)

  20. YeeMum-

    I thought there was another reason that Kasey won(at least that's what B@O said)

  21. Where oh where is the maltese lug? Where oh where can it be? Well if it ain't one thing,it is another and I ain't talking..

  22. The Lug Nut is rather elusive, but I'm sure we'll find it as soon as FedEx delivers the transcript of the dinner meeting.

  23. Very Good! Love It.

    And, I have photos of Jon "stealing" the Burton Lugnut...

  24. Great job SB.

    I can tell you right now, that Smoke doesn't have the Lug nut. (Rolling eyes and whistling)

    It is all pure talent, yeah that is it, that is why he is running so well.

  25. IG-

    Are you sure he was stealing and not leaving for a crew member to find? :o)

  26. Tsfan-

    I hear you on that. Thanks for reading.