All about bowling, Silly String, and those little hair scrunchies

by Brendan Gaughan

Once again, I waited until the last minute to write this, so it is pieced together. Bear with me, though, because from Silly String to bowling to hair, I will cover it all.

To start with, back in Charlotte, someone delivered a package containing Silly String to the Kodak Racing souvenir trailer. I thank you and my good friends, Kevin and Mandi Hamlin, thank you. Johnny "Cheeseburger" Kaufman, whom Iím sure you know by now is my motorcoach driver and best friend, on the other hand, well, letís just say he is not in the thankful mood when it comes to mentioning the Silly String.

Hamlin and Mandi spent the night with me on the coach last Friday and the Silly String was part of our entertainment. Inevitably, Chee-Z-B was the unfortunate one as he was left with the mess to clean up. Although "Cheeseburger" wanted to kill us the next day and banish me from the coach, the fun was well worth the wrath. Kevin, Mandi and I always appreciate Silly String packages, because we are like 7 or something. The key is not to let the mighty "Cheese" see me with it.

Now, on to Martinsville.

A couple of times I have written about the GBA, or the Garage Bowling Association for those of you who are not regular readers of my column. Saturday night in Martinsville was the latest edition of the GBA and while Team Penske did not prevail, this time, we will be back.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how nice it is to just have a fun night cutting up with friends and teams in a somewhat private atmosphere. Well, that all changed at Martinsville as the event was publicized on the radio and via the marquees in front of the bowling alley. Regardless, it was a fun night and even the fans had a good time.

I do, however, want to remind the fans who are, dare I say, fortunate enough to join us in a little fun; that this setting can become somewhat difficult for the drivers, especially when there are only two drivers in attendance. I only broach this subject because at the end of the night I overheard some fans talking and I would just like to remind them that it is sometimes difficult to be both person and driver. We participate in the GBA because it is fun and relaxing. It is not an autograph session and we are not there for anyone elseís entertainment other than our own.

In the past, I have been able to write about the stellar performance Team Penske has put forth. Not this time; we faltered. As the team began to struggle, we were forced to don our rally caps. My No. 77 Jasper visor had been rotated to many positions to no avail. Therefore, only one choice remained, hair scrunchies! Thatís right. With my hair as long as it is, I was forced to take a desperate measure.

The result was what some said looked like "Vera Di Milo", the character played by Jim Carey from "In Living Color". In case you donít remember the show, Carey did a skit on an almost-female bodybuilder with the hair pulled up into little spikes. Yes, folks, that is indeed what my hair looked like Ė just the hair, though.

So did it work? Well, sort of. I bowled my high game of the night, yet it surely wasnít enough for Team Penske to stage a comeback like that of the Boston Red Sox.

Once again, Joe Piette was solid. He usually is, but the rest of us could not pull it together all at the same time to finish the deal. All was not lost. I think there were some pretty interesting pictures taken of the hair and we had fun, once again. I guess we really canít complain about not winning after our success this year. Sooner or later, we had to let someone else win a trophy.

Well, who knows where next weekís column will go? Right now, I can tell you the No. 77 Kodak Racing team is testing at St. Louis on Tuesday, so, maybe we can talk ourselves into some World Series tickets. Well, maybe not talk, but weíll see.

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