Carter's Call for January 28, 2012

NASCAR fans, the roar of the engines isn't too far away! The Sprint Cup season opener at Daytona, the Great American Race, is Sunday, February 26.

I just returned late this week from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is always a great chance to talk with drivers and owners and get a sneak peek at the upcoming season. The big surprise on this year's tour, unfortunately for media members, was the absence of last year's championship runner-up Carl Edwards. Apparently, there was a mix-up between Roush-Fenway and Edwards about the media tour date. Team officials had to apologize for the miscommunication, saying Edwards was out of the country and they regretted he could not make it. His teammate Matt Kenseth also had a family emergency that day and he wasn't there. Luckily, we still got to talk with Greg Biffle, Nationwide Series champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr.and defending Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne with Wood Brothers Racing.

Kevin Harvick announced some big news at Richard Childress Racing: He's going to be a dad! Harvick said his wife Delana is 14 weeks pregnant and is expecting the couple's first child on July 23. Ironically, that's an off week on the always-packed schedule, Harvick insists they didn't plan it that way.

Harvick, who's finished third in points the past two seasons, has a new crew chief, a chief he's had lots of success with on the Nationwide circuit, Shane Wilson. RCR teammate Jeff Burton also has a new crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer. Burton says last year was an embarrassment for him and his team, adding they've got to become relevant again.

For the first time, Wal-Mart is sponsoring a race car. It's a special one-race deal with Bill Elliott. The veteran will try and qualify and compete in the July race at Daytona as Wal-Mart celebrates its 50th anniversary. Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City on July 2, 1962.

Well, I got one of the two teams right as far as Sunday's Super Bowl match up. I picked New England to make it this far, but I had the Patriots facing the Green Bay Packers. Oops! After getting a bye, the Packers lost their first playoff game to the Giants, who then went on to beat the 49ers in San Francisco. Should be a good Super Bowl, I'm not quite ready to make a prediction, that usually comes the Friday before the game.

College hoops: UVa is an impressive 16-and-3 as I write this. The Cavs did lose a heartbreaker to the Hokies, who got their first ACC win after starting 0-and-4 in the league. Virginia, though, bounced back by beating Boston College Thursday night. The Cavs could be a tough outcome ACC tournament time. In their first 19 games, UVa has held NINE opponents under 50 points, that's pretty amazing.

High school tournament time will be here before you know it. The Seminole boys tournament should be a dandy, lots of teams can win it, just depends on who's hot at the right time. Amherst County, Rustburg, E.C. Glass, and Heritage would probably be the front-runners now, but who knows?! Crazy things have been known to happen.