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Author Archives: Amy

(This post was originally published on July 15th, 2014 based solely on the audio book but happy day it’s now been released as an ebook available on Amazon so I thought I would reshare this review because this short story is so dang awesome and suspenseful! — Amy):

“I am the car and the car is me.” Martin Warwick in Tenths of a Second a short story by Simon Wood

Racers know that racing is a slippery slope of talent, speed, technology and for the up and coming racer sponsorship money (to buy the technology to create the speed to showcase the talent). It’s a sport where, to up-and-coming drivers, tenths of a second can mean the difference between hoisting a trophy in victory lane and having to scrounge around for the money to get to the track for the next race with equipment that may or may not be competitive enough to garner you with anything more than an “also ran” performance.

This is extremely evident to Martin Warwick, protagonist in Tenths of a Second, and driver in the open wheel Formula Ford racing series (yes it’s a real racing series- here is the Formula Fords wiki page if you are curious). He knows he has what it takes to make it as a professional driver but his equipment isn’t of the quality that can get him a performance that will showcase his driving talents. That is until the mysterious Mr. Mallory shows up in Martin’s garage stall at a race with an intriguing offer. While Mallory doesn’t have the much needed sponsorship money Martin’s hoping for, he has an experimental telemetry system that governs the car and driver. Mallory assures that utilizing his system will get Martin the type of performance that will turn heads and have sponsors throwing money his way. Martin signs up with Mallory deciding that he might as well give the developmental system a go because even if it’s a total flop at least it will get him a much needed engine rebuild and testing time at a track before the next race.

“Success was my nourishment, friend, lover and soul mate.” Martin Warwick in Tenths of a Second a short story by Simon Wood

As a result of his partnership with Mallory, Martin quickly finds him self on the fast track to the career as a professional racer that he has been yearning for. The question is at what cost will those precious tenths of a second come and is it worth it for Martin?

Tenths of a Second is a short story by Simon Wood.  Let me assure you that there is nothing usual about this story and it’s telling. I was first exposed to this story as an audio short story and will be the first to admit that I don’t tend towards audio books at all because I find if I am not engaged with the actual reading of something my mind wanders and I lose interest. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE with this story.  At first Tenths of a Second is like pulling up a chair and reminiscing with a friend as he tells his story, but with plot twists (no spoilers here) that Simon Wood does so well.  I highly recommend this short story! Order Tenths of a Second today- it is well worth the $0.99 trust me!!

Simon Wood probably sounds familiar- I have reviewed his Aidy Westlake Racing Mysteries novels Did Not Finish and Hot Seat for BadGroove as well as interviewed the author himself.  Simon is a prolific author, ex-professional race car driver, and a licensed pilot. You can find out more about Simon and his books on his website.

(photo source: zimbio.com/ Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

Started: 39th (after qualifying 21st but getting dinged for “unapproved body modification” when pushing the car out to the grid on Sunday afternoon)

Finished: 24th

Points: 111 points, 35th in the standings and 60 points from 30th position (David Ragan)

When you have a race as long as the Coca-Cola 600 (the longest race on the NASCAR circuit) and your driver is having a good day it’s a great and glorious culmination to a day chocked full of racing.  When your driver is struggling, and laps down by the end of the race- it’s just a long-ass day and it’s hard to find good in the day when your driver finishes four laps down after struggling for hours and hours with a car that is “up out of the track.”

(photo credit: zimbio.com/Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images North America))

Unfortunately for Tony Stewart and team 14, Martin Truex Jr set a dominating and blistering pace for the first quarter of the Coca-Cola 600 and by lap 87 while improving his position from 39th to 24th, Stewart ended up getting put a lap down. Handling would be an issue for the entire race and the team would ultimately end up finishing 4 laps down in 24th spot.

But being the glass half-full person I try to be, I found two “little” things that make the race a little easier to swallow.  First off being that Tony despite finishing 24th Tony was able to gain two spots in the points standings and is now 35th (although he still remains 60 points from 30th place David Ragan).  The second little thing is that at the beginning of the race- through the competition caution Tony was able to move UP through the field to 24th after starting 39th despite the ill-handling machine he struggled with all night. It could have been worse…he could have been relegated to a last place or near last place finish- or worse suffer a DNF.  So there was good in the race if you look hard enough. (more…)

(Share with us why Tony Stewart is your driver- be part of Project: Smoke In My Eyes today!– Amy) 

Tony Stewart at Pocono

Tony Stewart at Pocono 2014 (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove.com)

My son Logan who is now 17 has been a Tony fan since about age 4. There was just something about Tony that seemed to draw him. Logan was 5 & we had just bought him a new Tony Stewart shirt. He had to put it on right away. My husband and I were packing the van to get ready to leave in the morning for vacation. Logan had gone to my sister’s house to play with her children. Next thing I know-  she calls me. Logan fell playing baseball and she thought he broke his arm. We took him to the ER and he had broken his elbow and had to have surgery. He was very upset when they said they had to cut his shirt off . We explained it was brand new, that Tony was his favorite and so on. They asked the surgical team if they could take it off him once he was out and they said no. The two nurses felt really bad and the one suggested making a pillow or wall hanging. They were very careful cutting it off. Several months later Logan’s great Aunt Ruthie made him a beautiful pillow that he still had. It is worn and has seen it’s better days but it still bring him comfort. Tony is still his favorite driver and he has had a lot of Tony’s t-shirts since that one but the t-shirt pillow is still his favorite!

— Dee Van Blargan

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If you want to take part in Project: Smoke In My Eyes there is still time! Click on the link for more information and submit your piece today!

Coke 600 2015 (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

Here is what’s been pinging around my brain this week like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop.

1. While I always love the day of racing that is presented on the last Sunday in May- us Smoke fans have something extra special to look forward to- a Kenny Wallace interview with Tony Stewart on NASCAR RaceDay on FS1 prior to the CocaCola 600.  If you don’t watch RaceDay (I plan on watching the Indy 500 myself so I might miss it) you might want to set your DVRs to record it!

2. Also if you are interested in The Smoke Show at Texas Motor Speedway- the date has been released as Wednesday October 12th. You can get more information and sign up by visiting SCCTEXAS.ORG or calling 817-215-8567. BadGroove reader and supporter Judy Seigworth attended last year’s SMOKE Show and shared her experiences with us here at Badgroove. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet and consider attending this awesome event for charity.

3. You know how a lot of the drivers honor fallen veteran’s and their families by running their name on the windshield header of their cars? Well Tony Stewart will be honoring Master Sgt. Paul D. Karpowich. Karpowich was one of 22 Americans killed by a suicide bomber in a mess tent in Iraq four days before Christmas 2004.  Sgt Karpowich has a 12 year military career including four years of active duty and working his way up to a senior drill sargent in the Army Reserves.  He was hand-selected to train new Iraqi troops in Northern Iraq in fall of 2004. The #14 crew chief Mike Bugarewicz and his wife Krysten asked to honor Sgt Paul Karpowich since Krysten family knows the Karpowich family.

(more…)

Recently I reviewed for you the book American Muscle Cars and if you haven’t been following my blog very long you probably got the idea that I love muscle cars. And while I don’t have the money nor the space to store a car collection- I like to think if I ever did  win the lottery so that money and space wasn’t an issue I would have a car collection and it would be heavy in American muscle. Anyway today I get to bring to your attention another beautiful book about American muscle cars called Wide-Open Muscle: The Rarest Muscle Car Convertibles by Randy Leffingwell and photographer Tom Loeser.

This book focuses on what is perhaps the least practical cars manufactured during the height of the American muscle car genre of the 1960s and early 1070s- the convertible.  The cars within the covers of Wide-Open Muscle are highly sought after and pricey in today’s collector’s market.  These cars were heavy, stuff and definitely not made for a casual Sunday drive- these were made to street race. (more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America)

Oh that All-Star race. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Thanks to an uncooperative mother nature and a dog that gets me up at the crack of dawn ever morning I was able to watch the entire Sprint Showdown live.  Originally scheduled to run Friday evening the Showdown was postponed along with all other ontrack activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday.  I usually miss at least a couple of the Showdown segments being on the west coast because of work – so it was actually a nice treat to get get to watch the entire showdown start-to-finish.  In my opinion the racing in the showdown was good exciting racing- exactly what you would expect from drivers racing for the chance to race for million bucks.  That last transfer race between Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson was just good hard aggressive racing that fans want to see at any race! The showdown transfer winners ended up being Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson.  Ironically enough the fan vote winner was Chase Elliott and second place fan vote was Danica Patrick both of which also transferred into the All-Star race.  Matt DiBurrito ended up being third in the fan vote for those keeping track. (more…)

All-Star Race 2013 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart FaceBook Page)

These items are what have been pinging around my pitbox this week like loose lugnuts during a green flag pitstop:

1. Don’t forget Smoke fans- Tony will be giving the command to fire engines for the All-Star race…how awesome is that. I hope that other tracks have some neat tributes to Tony as the season winds down…I know he said he didn’t want a fuss but…I kind of want a fuss for him.

2. I was going to go on a little rant about silly season rumors and the whole Harvick to HMS rumor. But now I don’t have to do that because Stewart-Haas Racing officially announced today that Harvick has signed a “longterm contract extension” with the team.  I wonder if people will now listen to Kevin when he states emphatically on his social media that he isn’t going anywhere?! For those wondering, Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers signed a contract extension last June so the pair is likely  in it for the long haul.  Of course this doesn’t mean that the whole Kasey Kahne to finish his HMS contract with a different team isn’t true- but like all silly season rumors- only time will tell with that one. (more…)

 

Garage Area at Sonoma Raceway June 2015

I make no bones about how much I love Sonoma Raceway! It’s the closest track to where I live in which the cup cars run. The track is close enough to San Francisco to have fun excursions to the city during the weekend there. It’s in wine country and it’s close to the ocean.  And of course there is nothing like some road course racing- turning left AND right, braking, rubbing- it’s amazing to experience!

Speaking of experiences- since this is Tony Stewart’s  last year as a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series the Tony Stewart Foundation (in conjunction with sponsor Code 3 Associates and FWCSports) has set up the Ultimate VIP Tony Stewart experience in Sonoma for Saturday June 25th!

This truly is a once in a lifetime type experience with NASCAR driver Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway! Best of all the price of your VIP Experience(a $750 dollar charitable donation that may be tax deductible depending on your tax situation) goes directly to the Tony Stewart Foundation Grant Fund!  So you are helping the Tony Stewart Foundation with your generous donation all while getting the experience of a lifetime with Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway.

Check out all the great things the VIP experience includes:  (more…)