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Loose Lugnuts 18: Jumbo Sized Lugnuts

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Phoenix, AZ  November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

So- I usually write the “Loose Lugnuts posts” in what is a mostly stream of conscious session on Wednesday night and schedule them to publish on Thursday morning or afternoon- but here it is Monday evening and I am getting a jump start on it because I am going to be traveling and won’t have time to write it up on Wednesday night so I am going to schedule a few while I am gone. Also I realized that I forgot to mention a couple of things in my race report on Monday that I totally spaced on- but will do just fine here. So without further ado here is what has been rolling around my brain like lugnuts rolling around a pitstall after a green flag pit stop during the championship race:

1. Because of the lengthy rain delay in Phoenix- my dad didn’t get to see the F35 flyover that he was so looking forward to watching. While it is not the first flyover the elusive F35 Lightning II has done at a sporting event- it is the first ever at a NASCAR event and my dad is an aviation fan.  He was bummed out. I know the flyover happened (Thanks to someone I follow on Instagram) but you would think that since one of the two jets was carrying a Jeff Gordon Raceway flag you would thank they would have made a bigger hoopla out of it.

(Photo Source: Martin Truex Jr Official Facebook)

2. I watched a heck of a lot of the rain delay coverage that came out of Phoenix last weekend. More than I probably should have. But one thing I didn’t hear mentioned was who Elijah Aschbrenner was and why his name was above the passenger door on Martin Truex Jr’s car at the track. As a matter of fact very little was mentioned about it at all and I think that is a shame.  Elijah was a pediatric cancer patient that was not just part of Martin and Sherry’s Catwalk for a Cause fashion show that raised money for pediatric cancer but he was known and wished well by many many many NASCAR fans and teams. Other drivers such as Kasey Kahne ran special yellow ribbons with Elijah’s likeness on them on their cars during the race as well.  Elijah fought Epitheliod Sarcoma like a hero but earned his angel wings on November 10th.  Here is a wonderful story about Elijah that NASCAR’s Holly Cain did it’s just a shame that they didn’t mention him (or mention him more) during the hours and hours of rain delay coverage.

3. While we are on the topic Martin Truex Jr.’s long time girlfriend Sherry Pollax is battling stage III ovarian cancer as many of you know. She is currently going through once a month maintenance chemo for it.  Well her Chemo session was Monday morning (today).  I can only imagine that she must have been tired- having been in Phoenix so late between it being delayed until all hours, and then I am sure Martin had to do a lot more media than normal after the race considering he made the Final Four.  Go Sherry!

4. So I am going to say right here and now- I hope Jeff Gordon wins the championship race on Sunday. I don’t just mean win the championship but I mean win the championship race too.  That said- I would honestly be fine with any of the final 4 drivers winning.

5. And while I am on the subject of the final four: are there still people out there questioning Kyle Busch’s place in the chase? I personally think that to come back after just a devastating injury and to stay in the top 30 in points and win a race to become a chaser is a feat that is championship material. Especially in this chase format. (Yes I still think that a NASCAR champion should be the driver that won the most races during the season not the driver who can survive weird Survivoresque Chase challenge rounds- but NASCAR obviously likes this format so…I guess we are stuck with it for awhile but that is a whole different story). Anway- I would be interested to hear a compelling argument for the case against Kyle being in the chase. And when I say compelling it should not contain the words I DON’T LIKE HIM, HE SUXS or anything about his personality.

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

6. What? Did you think I would get through an entire Loose Lugnut’s without mentioning Tony Stewart? Then you must be new here and not know me. Hi! I am Amy and I am a Tony Stewart fan. Anyway…Tony visited Bass Pro Shops and talked to Santa. I can only hope against hope that he put in a good word for me (being purposely ambiguous over who “he” is…could be Tony…could be Santa- you decide).  Seriously though, if I lived closer to a Bass Pro Shop I would totally dress up in my Tony Stewart gear and go visit Santa for a picture that I would then plaster all over my social media. Because TONY STEWART FAN right here. Anyway- I just wanted to share the picture- you can click on the thumbnail to be taken to the original on Facebook.  I would ask Santa for an awesome 2016 season for Tony Stewart…in case you were wondering what I would ask for! Since it’s going to be his last as a full-time driver- I want it to be an AWESOME one. Back to the picture with Santa though- it’s free if you have a local Bass Pro Shop…so you might want to take advantage and #ShareTheWonder.

7. Just for those Jeff Gordon fans, and NASCAR collectors out there- Thursday (today) Sports Illustrated will have Jeff Gordon on the cover. The magazine will look like the picture to the right here.  The Jeff Gordon cover of the magazine (considered to be the national cover) will be available in most markets except for the following states: Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Instead these states will get a regional issue cover featuring RAMS running back Todd Gurley as the issue will not just contain a tribute to Jeff Gordon but a profile on Gurley.  The cover story on Gordon will feature highlights from Jeff’s illustrious NASCAR career and include quotes from not just Jeff Gordon, but friend and teammate Jimmie Johnson, former crew chief Ray Evernham, and more.  One quote I from the teaser quotes I got in a press release about the publication stands out and is from Jeff Gordon that I thought I would share because I think it holds true for everyone not just Jeff Gordon:  “Early on in my career I focused on trying to say the right things, making sure my sponsors and fans were pleased and my team owner was not upset with me…I never wanted to rock the apple cart. As you gain more knowledge and experience and comfort and maturity, you let go of some of that and let your personality come out.” – Jeff Gordon in this week’s Sport’s Illustrated.  So you might want to pick up this issue of NASCAR Illustrated- I know I will be trying to find one during my travels.

8. Poor Carl Edwards- he found out on the national broadcast with the rest of everyone else watching that NASCAR called the race. You could see his disappointment. But did you know that his day started off on NASCAR Race Day with being video bombed by Tony Stewart. You gotta love Tony (and Carl for playing along):

9. So big news on Monday- is that Brian France requested a meeting with Matt Kenseth before the race this weekend. I would love to be a fly on that wall I tell you. After the meeting Matt sent a kind of esoteric tweet because for some reason NASCAR feels the need to keep these meetings secretive. #FreeMatt

10. Yes I am still planning on going to Vegas for the Champions week celebrations as I do every year!

So this week is the big Championship race…who you got people?!

The gratuitous Tony Stewart picture:

Phoenix Arizona, Nov. 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

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Previous volumes of:  Loose Lugnuts

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