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Sonoma 2014- Happier TimesLast Thursday my world came skidding to a halt quicker than The Drive for Five after the incident with Keslowski at Texas Motorspeedway last fall. My driver dumped me. That’s right! Jeff Gordon is breaking up with us, his fans. He announced that this will be his last season as a driver in NASCAR. Initially I was shocked. Sure there have been murmurings for a few years about the impending R word, especially after the resurgence of some back pain a few seasons ago, but last season, man- last season seemed to have cleared all such nonsense talk out of the air. Jeff Gordon was back – Championship Contending Rainbow Warrior Jeff Gordon (though personally I never thought he went away). Sure the season ended in bitter disappointment for the 24 and his fans, but that just meant reason to look forward to the next season. Right?

Apparently, wrong! Jeff says he made the decision to make this his last season about midway through last year and that he is looking forward to the next chapter in his life. Well, just like any person dumped unexpectedly (no matter how evident the signs were) by their significant other, I say “Well bully for you, but what about me???.” I have shed tears over the announcement. I have received “condolence” texts from not just friends but from casual acquaintances! They recognize the suffering and pain I am enduring over this heartbreak.
I try to think positive. I try to visualize what it will be like without Jeff Gordon on the track and it does nothing to ease my heartache. I try to think about who I will cheer once Jeff is no longer driving. I have rolled a few drivers around in my head and as much as I like those drivers – I don’t love them. I love Jeff. I always have and I always will! I just can’t see myself in another driver’s jacket. It doesn’t feel right!

They say time heals all wounds, and I am sure that at some point there will be another driver, but I expect there will be a rebound driver or two in between that time comes, if it ever does. So fair warning to friends and family: don’t load me up on merch from the next driver I take up for ‘cause I can darn near guarantee that he ain’t a keeper. Not the kind I would take home to momma. It’s just too painful right now to think about giving my all to another driver. My relationship with Jeff lasted over 20 years, I am going to need some time to get through it.

It’s been nearly a week and talking about it still brings tears to my eyes as I think about all the experiences we will no longer share: knee slapping laughs at After the Lap, pit lane brawls leaving the villain spitting blood, pre-race invocation family shots, and most importantly Victory Lane fist pumps.

I am sure Jeff will stay in touch and still be in my life in some way, but it won’t be the same. It’s the end of a beautiful ride. Good luck, Jeff. What we had was special, and though you hate to hear it: DRIVE FOR FIVE, now is the time!
Love Always,
A Jeff Gordon Girl (Misty “24ever” Bethany)

I love to read. That is probably evident judging by the “Amy’s NASCAR Reading list” posts I make (and for those of you wondering I will be continuing that this year and already have some posts planned) but I can’t imagine a world without reading. That is why I love the speedway reading events. I know Fontana does some reading events around their race and Texas Motor Speedway has the Speed To Read program. This year Speed To Read has partnered with Lionel Racing in a Design-A-Diecast program! How cool is that?

More than 3,500 students in the seven schools that participate in the Speed To Read program will have the opportunity to use their artistic talents to design their a diecast paint scheme. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade will design a NASCAR paint scheme .  Winners will be picked in each of two grade categories:  grades K-2 and grades 3-5. The winner will have their diecast actually produced on a 1:24 scale diecast and presented to them in an acrylic case. That is such a cool idea- I would have LOVED that as a kid! Their classmates will recieve a 1:64th Lionel branded diecast as well.  The winner in each category will additionally receive tickets to the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11th, 2015. So not only do they receive a cool diecast as their reward but they will be heading to the race in April! How fun!

Happy 2015

Posted by Amy in NASCAR - (0 Comments)

Welcome to the new year! The 2015 NASCAR season is just around the corner and if you are like me you can not wait for it to get underway.  I know I have high hopes that Tony will have a terrific season and as always this is the time of the year that I hope that THIS will be the year he gets his Daytona 500 win!  Whoo! #SmokeAlwaysRises

 

(Click here if you are looking for the Annual NASCAR Champion’s Week Trip post for 2014.)

If you have been reading BadGroove for awhile you probably know that I love photography. I am constantly trying to improve my craft the best I can. Anyway here are some of my favorite captures from Champions Week:

A Champion's Chariot

A Champion’s Chariot (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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Chase Driver Banners on Las Vegas Blvd

Banners of all 16 Chase grid drivers fly at the start/finish line in front of The Miracle Mile shops on Las Vegas Blvd on December 4th, 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

I have yet to miss a NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas. Luckily for me Misty lives nearby so I am able to attend some of the fun!  This year we actually splurged and got a room at the Palms since that is where After The Lap was to be held again.  It was a nice room and casino (not that I had much time to gamble).

Anyway- the fun for us started at Fan Fest where all 16 2014 Chase Grid drivers where scheduled to walk the red carpet and sign autographs for fans before taking part in a fun game on the stage that was set up at the end of the carpet. The event was held on Fremont Street again this year and fans had started lining the red carpet early to get a glimpse of their favorite driver: (more…)

Tony and Teddy B. Caring (credit: Office Depot)* Yeah I know it’s an old picture- but it’s very Christmasy isn’t it?

Are you looking for that holiday gift for the NASCAR fan in your life? Here are some quick suggestions from your friendly neighborhood Smoke fan: (more…)

(Photo Credit: Edelman)

Hi Santa! It’s me, Amy, your friendly neighborhood diehard Tony Stewart fan. It’s been a long time since I have written you a letter. A really, really long time, but we won’t talk about that! You already know if I have been naughty or nice so I won’t sit here and try to bargain with you regarding that fact. Nor will I wax poetically about whether or not you you exist- clearly you do based on the sole number of presents my three nephews had under their tree last year.  I thought it couldn’t hurt things if I actually sent you my wish list this year.

Anyway Santa, here is a list of  what this Smoke fan wants for Christmas this year. Just to warn you Santa- some of these things are a bit in the future from Christmas- but if it happens I will just know that I was extra-specially good this year: (more…)

Lionel Racing Collectables is giving their die-cast customers a change to won an ultimate piece of the 2014 NASCAR Championship.  For the first time- Lionel pre-made two 2014 championship die-cast to have on hand DURING the post race celebration! That is right these were signed right there in victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway and of course I have the pictures to prove it:

2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Chase Elliot

2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Chase Elliot holds his vi2014 Champion Die-Cast in victory lane in Homestead-Miami. (Photo Credit: Lionel Racing/Tommy Grassmann/CIA)

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champ Kevin Harvick

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champ Kevin Harvick signs his 2014 Champion Die Cast in victory lane at Homestead-Miami. (Photo Credit: Lionel Racing/Don Grassmann/CIA Photo)

These die-casts were NOT just used as props for the hat dance picture celebration though!  They were autographed and will be boxed up and randomly shipped to one lucky fan purchasing a Chase Elliot Championship die-cast and one purchasing a Kevin Harvick Championship die-cast.  What a great treat for any die hard fan!  Purchase your Championship die-cast from Lionel Racing Collectables today! You never know- you might just get a little piece of the victory celebration!