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Loose Lugnuts: Pre Quaker State 400 edition

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

(Photo source: Zimbio.com/Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images North America)

It’s been awhile since I have done a Loose Lugnuts and boy have I missed it. Some of this might be old news to you all and if it is I am sorry but I just wanted to make sure I shared it with you before it left my brain bucket completely.  So without further ado here is what has been rolling around in my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop this week:

1. I don’t know about you all but this #Smoke fan is still excited about his really awesome Sonoma win.  I so freaking excited to see Tony win at Sonoma I forgot how to work my camera!!  It was an awesome win and if you still haven’t read the Sonoma Race diary post (I know it’s a long one but I can’t help myself) please read it and let me know what you think. If you are looking for just the pictures you can see some of my pictures over here in the Flickr photo album for Sonoma 2016 or you can check out my facebook albums (for facebook I broke the photos into three separate albums: Various Toyota Savemart 350 At Sonoma Pictures, Tony Stewart VIP Experience, and Ernie Irvan/Tony Stewart Wall of Fame Plaque presentation). The difference between the facebook book albums and the flickr albums is there are a few of my phone pictures included in the facebook albums that I didn’t post up on Flickr…and there are two videos from my phone in the Wall of Fame Facebook Folder that I didn’t stick on twitter.

2. How excited was I for Tony’s win? I changed my cell phone lock screen from a picture of Abbie to this picture as soon as I saw it:

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

3. If you are looking for a video of Tony’s post Sonoma win presser I found this one on Youtube. It’s one of those things I can watch over and over- Tony was in a really really good mood.

4. Also one more thing about Tony and Sonoma before I move on to other stuff. I had the a couple of minutes to chat with Tony during the Tony Stewart VIP Experience hosted by The Tony Stewart foundation and we ended up talking about the Wall of Fame induction the day before.  Tony mentioned to me that it was an honor because he hasn’t even retired yet and Ernie’s been retired for years. I also got the feeling the fact that he’s starting to experience last times at certain tracks as a driver is starting to hit him just a little bit.  By the way the VIP Experience was great- you should keep an eye on the Tony Stewart Foundation website to see if there is one at a track near you! I highly recommend!

5. Here is one of my favorite non-Tony Stewart photos from the race weekend. I call it “Tire Spin”:

(Photo source: Amy K. Marbach)

6. I am interested in this article by Amanda Vincent in Auto Racing Daily that Misty actually pointed out to me stating that Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin brought up something at the Daytona Driver’s Council meeting that fans are getting too close to cars on pit road during pre-race. Specifically they were talking about Sonoma Raceway- and let me tell you I have been on pit road during pre-race at Sonoma several times and I can tell you that it gets CRAZY crowded.  One of the things that I love about NASCAR is that as fans we have close up access. You can often get pre-race passes or garage passes. I have never seen regular baseball fans with dugout passes or football fans with sideline passes.  I have never and would never walk up to touch the cars on pit road at any race because I understand that the cars shouldn’t be touched. But whats to prevent a fan from tripping and falling into one of the cars and doing an “illegal body modification” unintentionally (or intentionally).  I agree with the statement in the article that the cars should have a roped off area around them so that only the team members and drivers can get up to the cars…It seems like a good idea to me.

7. Speaking of Daytona- Xfinity driver Darrell Wallace Jr got fined $15,000 for a tweet referring to NASCAR officials as Muppets because of the handling of the late race caution at the end of the Xfinity series race.  Now I am going to be the first to say I didn’t see the end of the race- so I didn’t see it live as it happened but it sounds to me like it was due to the fact that the cars that wrecked weren’t clear. These things happen in racing.  I understand that Wallace Jr was likely upset because he was scored a position lower because of a restart violation. From what I read and saw about the race after- I can say that it seems to me that the caution was warranted.

8. Color me jealous- I would have so loved to been at Indianapolis on Tuesday! Seriously this, much like the F1 Seat Swap Tony did at Watkins Glen is one of those kind of events I would have LOVED to be able to attend. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway built Tony a temporary 3/16th mile dirt track in one of the turns at the speedway to  run midget cars on. They asked Tony to at the very least come check it out and watch over the track as midget cars took to the dirt.  I read in a couple of articles on the event that Tony was dead set against driving on the track initially but luckily he brought a firesuit and helmet with him anyway and ended up taking several laps in a Keith Kunz built midget originally prepared for driver Macedo.  Here is a video of him (Tony’s in the 71 car) turning laps on the track with Bryan Clauson in the 63 and Sarah Fisher in the 67:

According to this FoxSports article after running hot laps in a car that wasn’t built for him, Tony admitted to reporters at the event that it was the first time he had been in a dirt car since the Kevin Ward accident in August of 2014. Of course Tony has made no bones about making sure that people understand that he is just retiring from Sprint Cup Series racing not from racing in general and it is expected that Tony will likely run dirt cars and who knows what else comes his way (in Sonoma I think it was he talked about possibly running a sportcar here and there too).  After all he’s #AlwaysRac14g and that’s why we love him.

9. There is also a great article on the above event in the IndyStar by Curt Cavin you might want give a read. Also I found a  USA Today article on the dirt track by Brant James that you might want to give a read too if you haven’t already. It was big news people!

10. Here is an AWESOME podcast of an hour long podcast interview with Tony Stewart by Kristi Lee! Grab a cup and settle in and give it a listen. It’s from right after Michigan back in June but it’s an awesome listen! Trust me you will want to give this a listen. He talks about retirement, his accident in January, his foundation and much more.

11. I don’t know if you saw pictures of the awesome Dale Earnhardt helmet Tony Stewart ran at Daytona. The helmet was designed by Nick Pastura who did an amazing job.  Here is one picture I snagged from Tony’s Facebook website.

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

Click here for more pictures of the helmet.

12. I am so flipping excited to be going to the Brickyard in a few weeks. I hate flying so that part I am not looking forward to but I figure it’s a lot less time in the plane than it was to get to Homestead last year.  I am NOT going as media so I am going to fly my Tony colors loudly and proudly! Have suggestions of things I should do in Indiana while I am there (I want to jam pack my time there full of things to see and no I am not afraid to drive a bit). Email me or leave a comment on this post!

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

 Okay….I lied here are some of my favorite Sonoma victory win photos of Tony:

It’s all about that grin:

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)


Previous Loose Lugnut’s post.


If you want to take part in Project: Smoke In My Eyes there is still time. Check out the link for more information.


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