New York Story

The Alltel team finished in the top-10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for the fourth-straight year. We improved our position over last year by one spot, finishing sixth in 2005, something we're proud of, but would like to be even higher.

Finishing in the top-10 in points means a trip to New York City for the annual NNCS Awards Banquet. My wife, Krissie, and I began our trip Tuesday night, flying to New York and checking in to the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue. All of the top-10 drivers stay here, as well as the majority of NASCAR and NEXTEL representatives. It's also the hotel where the banquet will be held on Friday night.

First thing this morning, the top-10 drivers met in the lobby to travel together to the NBC Studios for a guest spot on the TODAY show with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. The 10 of us changed into our firesuits and were tossed into the hair and make-up room for some quick touch-ups. Something that I'm sure none of us have ever done prior to climbing into our cars before.

Following a few minutes on the TODAY show, we climbed in our race cars and held a "Victory Lap" through the streets of New York City. Now, all of us are racers, so putting us behind the wheel anywhere is going to light a friendly competition. Today, it seemed to be a competition of who could perform the best burn out. I'm not bragging at all (but maybe a little) but I turned a complete 360 somewhere on Madison Avenue. It was pretty cool and I got to leave my mark on the streets of New York.

After the lap, we met with NASCAR representatives for a quick breakfast and photo in their headquarters here in the city. And that was pretty much our day as far as business goes.

This afternoon, Krissie and I are going to spend time with some of our relatives that live close by. Then tomorrow, it's back at it starting with the New York Stock Exchange first thing in the morning.

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