Header image

Author Archives: Amy

Here is what has been rolling around my brain like loose lugnuts in a pit stall during a green flag pit stop for the week: (more…)

When I was in college- I read a lot of children’s books. Why? I was a liberal studies major with a CLAD (Culture and Language Development) emphasis – meaning that I was in the grammar school teaching credential track.  I took multiple literature course including one specifically on multicultural children’s literature.  I learned how to evaluate children’s books on cultural diversity, language development and more.  It’s a skill I wouldn’t ever put into use beyond buying the occasional book for my three nephews since my actual job has nothing to do with children or literature.

When the oldest nephew of my three nephews was three (he is now 7) he had overheard me talking about a leaky tire I had on my car.  He told me he was going to build me a car. That car was going to be purple (my favorite color) and would have wood wheels so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a flat tire and he was going to build it for me in his garage. He has always been very mechanically inclined and minded. I remember when we had some plumbing work done on our house he sat on the front lawn putting all the pipes together in a specific order to create some sort of pipeline that made sense to him.  When he was in first grade he was in a special after school program that partnered with NASA to learn all about space. The kid is smart and when I was offered a copy of the children’s book How To Build A Car I immediately thought of him. When I got the book I couldn’t wait to share it with him.

How To Build A Car follows three friends (Eli the mouse, Hank the frog and Phoebe the sparrow) on their mission to build a car.  Eli has a huge imagination and has a great idea to make a real working race car.  He gets his friends Hank and Phoebe to help him with his grand idea.  With imagination and teamwork the trio work hard and persevere to build a real miniature race car. (more…)

I have been in love with American muscle cars for as long as I can remember. There is just something about the lines and the power of those cars that speak to me and always have. I have built a virtual fantasy garage if you will of cars that I would own. However, I would also sneak in a little sleek Italian super car into that fantasy collection of mine.

That is why I absolutely love the book Lamborghini Supercars 50 years From the Groundbreaking Miura to Today’s Hypercars. The introduction starts out with an except from an interview with Ferruccio Lamborghini that tells the story about where he got the idea to make a car.  He had purchased a Ferrari and while he loved driving it he found that when he drove the car hard he had problems with the clutch slipping.  He had to have the clutch regularly rebuilt and finally got tired of it so he went to talk to Enzo Ferrari about his car only to be told “Lamborghini, you may be able to drive a tractor but you will never be able to handle a Ferrari properly.” Which he states is when he decided embark on the endeavor to create the “perfect” car.

The rest they say is history- a visual history presented lovingly in this book. Starting with the Miura P400 known as the first mid-engine Supercar and moving on to the Countach (my personal favorite), to the last true original Lamborghini – the Diablo.  It goes into all the supercar models after Audi acquired Lamborghini including the Murcielago, the Gallardo, the Reventon of 2008, the 2011 Aventador and all the way to the sleek Huracan of today.  The book the book gives the history of each design as well as the states of the different models along with gorgeous photos of each machine in various angles and colors. Each of the most popular models has quick stats of each car. The cars are stunningly presented and I have to say – I might not like green cars (they are my least favorite color of car) but the gorgeous Murcielago photos in this book made me have second thoughts about green cars.


Tony at the Irwin Tools 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway August 2015 (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

Here is what has been rolling around my head this week like lug nuts in a pit stall after a green flag pit stop: (more…)

Steve McQueen, actor, stunt man, pilot,motorcycle and race car driver. Is there any question as to why he was called the King Of Cool?  There is a new book out detailing the life of the King of Cool, Steve McQueen called Steve McQueen: Full- Throttle Cool by Dwight Zimmerman and Greg Scott. However this book is not your average biography of the popular actor. In fact some people might not even consider it a book- as it is a graphic novel.  Yep that is right – a graphic novel. What is a graphic novel you might ask? Well a graphic novel is a basically a bound comic book.

So this is a biographical comic book of Steve McQueen’s complete life. It starts off with him as a child in Indianapolis where he lived with his mother and step-father and follows him throughout his early career in the military through his acting career to his death of mesothelioma in the seventies.

I am going to admit that I while I have never been a big fan of comic books- I can honestly say this one held my attention- likely because it was factual.  The artist renderings in the graphic novel are captivating in a nearly film-like way and illustrate the McQueen and his  anti-hero archetype. The only downfall I can see about this graphic novel is I feel the novel, only 90 pages, glosses over some of McQueen’s grittier personality characteristics.  That said I really think this graphic novel by Dwight Zimmerman and Greg Scott would be a good choice for any motor sports or Steve McQueen fan’s or  bibliophile’s collection for the novelty of it (pun totally intended).

Author Dwight Zimmerman has authored the text for several graphic novels, including the acclaimed The Hammer and the Anvil, a dual biography of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. He is an author, radio show host, and producer and the president of the Military Writers Society of America.

Artist Greg Scott is a comic-book artist who has done stints at both Marvel and DC Comics, working on such series as Gotham Central and Case Files: Sam and Twitch.

For Full-Disclosure purposes (I am looking at you FTC): I received a copy of this graphic novel for the purpose of review on this blog. The words and opinions herein are my own.


Read more Amy’s NASCAR Reading List posts here.

(Special thanks to photographer Jan M. Foster for letting me use her pictures of Tony Stewart from the race at Bristol this past weekend!! Thanks Jan!– Amy)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Zimbio/ Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images North America)

Tony Qualified: 40th via champion’s provisional

Tony Finished:  19th

Points: 466 (26th in points)


April 18, 2015: Tony Stewart during final practice for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol TN. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

“Bristol is one of those places where you’ve got to have everything kind of go your way. If you have one hiccup, it’s hard to recover from it. We’ve only won one race there and we’ve kind of been all over the board. It’s been feast or famine for us. It’s like if you have one problem in the first half of the race, it’s hard to recover from it. It makes for a very long day. We’ve had more long days than good days.” Tony Stewart, Bristol Night Race Team Advance 2015

An oldie but a goodie “Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture” from Bristol in March 2012:

Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page



Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #OneGoodRace #SmokeAlwaysRises #IStandWithSmoke

Lord Of The Schemes: Help Lionel Choose NASCAR’s Most Iconic Paint Scheme!

Every NASCAR fan has a favorite paint scheme or two, myself included.  I actually LOVE when my favorite drivers run special or alternate paint schemes- like the throwback scheme Tony will be running at Darlington’s upcoming race! Lionel Racing (yes they of the diecasts) are asking fans to vote to help them decide which is the most iconic NASCAR paint scheme.  Over the next several months fans with facebook accounts will be asked to participate by voting on their favorite paint schemes. It all starts with 64 paints iconic classic paint schemes. Schemes are were randomly paired up bracket style and pitted against each other.  All you have to do as a fan is go through and choose which theme you like the best between two you like the best. It will then be narrowed down pitting only the round one winners against each other in the next round, etc.   It’s easy and fun and it doesn’t take long (I know- I have already voted for this first round).  Then make sure that you continue to return and vote in subsequent rounds.

You vote on the Lionel Racing Facebook Page here.

After already voting in round one I have only two things to say:

1. I am 90% sure I know which paint scheme will win.  I am also 99.9% sure that I know which two will be the in the finals. It will be interesting to see if I am correct.

2. The most iconic paint scheme to me? Didn’t even make the list. Not quite sure what that says about me.  While I won’t tell you which paint scheme it was- I will tell you this: it was not a Tony Stewart Paint Scheme and a throwback version of this paint scheme will be raced during the race at Darlington.

BTW Tony fans- two of Tony’s paint schemes are in the list.

Vote now…and don’t forget to go back and vote in subsequent rounds. The winning paint scheme will be announced the week before the Homestead Championship race.