NASCAR offers best Father’s Day gift ever: a ride in the Goodyear Blimp

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Forget a new TV for the man cave. And puh-leeze, not another tie or socks or underpants.

If you REALLY want to make the biggest hit for Father’s Day, tell your dad you’re taking him for a ride.

In the Goodyear Blimp.

With Mother’s Day now past, NASCAR is focusing on a one-of-a-kind promotion as part of it’s “NASCAR With Dad” Father’s Day promotion.

“For generations, the bonds between parents and children have been cemented through sharing memorable NASCAR experiences,” Matt Shulman, NASCAR managing director of marketing platforms, said in a media release. “This campaign celebrates those special Father’s Day memories through the lens of NASCAR.”

But the ride in the blimp, which will take place during the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend  at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is the icing on the cake.

“We sat in the room and said, ‘What’s the coolest NASCAR prize we could give away that would be a  memory that would last a lifetime?'” Shulman told Adweek, “and we decided that being high above the race with your father or your child would definitely be it.”

There’s plenty of other ways for sons and daughters to brag about how wonderful their father is through the “NASCAR With Dad” promotion, with heavy emphasis on social media, with fans sharing their favorite NASCAR memories spent with dad via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar avenues.

If you and your dad are not the lucky winner of the blimp ride, there’s a number of other prizes, including 10 runner-up prize packs of driving a real stock car on a real NASCAR track.

NASCAR Productions even made a neat video (below) that shares some of the greatest moments between some of the sport’s best drivers and their sons.

The #NASCARwithDAD contest is open from now through 11:59 p.m. on Father’s Sunday, Sunday, June 15.

To enter or for more information, go to NASCAR.com/NASCARwithDad.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

F1 2017 driver review: Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 5
Races: 20
Wins: 5
Podiums (excluding wins): 8
Pole Positions: 4
Fastest Laps: 5
Points: 317
Laps Led: 286
Championship Position: 2nd

2017 was supposed to be the year Sebastian Vettel finally fulfilled his ambition of emulating Michael Schumacher by returning Ferrari to its championship-winning heyday.

Instead, it ended in disappointment and frustration – once again.

Ferrari arguably made a greater step across the change in technical regulations for 2017 than any other team, living up to its pre-season tag as favorite by winning the opening round in Australia in fashion.

Vettel and Ferrari led their respective championships following the Monaco Grand Prix as the German ended a 16-year win drought for the Prancing Horse in the principality, and even heading into the summer break, a shot at both championships was looking good.

However, cracks had started to appear. Vettel’s remarkable antics behind the safety car in Baku sparked controversy after driving into Hamilton, suggesting the tension of the title fight was beginning to take its toll on the German.

The final run of flyaways was where things really fell apart for Vettel, though. Singapore looked to be a slam-dunk win, only for a start-line crash also involving teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen to put 25 free points in Hamilton’s pocket.

Reliability woes then struck in Malaysia and Japan – two more races Vettel could realistically have won – to make it game over in the title race, with Hamilton wrapping things up in Mexico.

Vettel only finished the year 46 points back from Hamilton, proving the impact the three bad races in Asia had. Realistically, this was a title race that should have gone down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Instead, Vettel remains a four-time champion, level with Hamilton, who had just one to his name back in 2013 when his rival secured his fourth.

Ferrari’s internal issues will come under the microscope over the off-season, and Vettel himself knows there is plenty to work on. Staying cool under pressure and not letting things boil over as in Baku is the most obvious area for improvement.

But there is reason for hope. If Ferrari can keep up with Mercedes and repeat its impressive step into 2017 through the upcoming off-season, we may well be treated to another Vettel/Hamilton scrap at the front of the field, perhaps settling once and for all who is the greatest driver of the post-Schumacher era.

Season High: A crucial win in Hungary despite battling with a broken steering column.

Season Low: Letting tensions flare in Baku and hitting Hamilton behind the safety car.