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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross available now at Amazon and other retailers.

 

“Racing appealed on a level far more deeply satisfying than fame and money; besides the pure adrenaline rush, it gave him an outlet for taking control and conquering life’s uncertainties.” John F. Ross, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

It’s been awhile since I read anything- especially anything I could use for an installment of “Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List” but finally here it is! In this installment I am reviewing John F. Ross’s biography Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed. Chances are you are having one of two reactions to the title.  One reaction might be “Who?”   The other thought might be something along the lines of “World War One ace fighter pilot.”  The second thought was what came into my head when I was asked if I would like a copy of this novel to review for my readers to the point I nearly turned it down. Luckily the words Indy 500 caught my eye and I thought- heck I will give it read.

I am glad I did.  My dad is an aviation buff so I was familiar with the name Eddie Rickenbacker in that sense; ace pilot of World War I. But that is about all I really knew about him- that he flew biplanes in World War I.  I am going to be honest- when in school I was never a huge fan of history. All those dates and names and places. But this book brings this era that we learned about in school to life for me with it’s words in a way that has never been done before.  About the excitement and the constant changing of the industrial revolution and as the author calls it the “Age of Speed”. The book is very full of descriptive prose that make you feel like you are reading a novel instead of a biography. (more…)

Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the field

Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the field to another restart at Kansas (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

Sigh. That is really all I have after the night race in Kansas is a long forlorn sigh.  What does team 14 have to do to catch a freaking break this season. The weekend started with a really STRONG qualifying showing from Stewart-Haas Racing. All four cars qualified in the top 10 (Kevin had the pole, Kurt qualified 6th, Tony qualified 8th, and Danica 9th).  I am not sure- but I think that might be a first right there, but regardless it was a strong qualifying showing and even had the pre-race show talking heads yabbering about how Stewart-Haas was doing so well (which cracked me up because all we have been hearing previously from them was about how something is missing at SHR) and was the team to beat. Make up your mind guys…seriously. (more…)

Tony waves during driver intros

Tony Stewart waves to the crowd during driver introductions at Kansas Speedway in 2013. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

 

“But in this series where we have races that are 400, 500 miles long, the guys with experience know when to push. They know when it matters. It’s like that every week because our races are so long. There are times you have to be patient and do the opposite of what you want to do. You let guys go because you know it’s the wrong part of the race to be fighting for a position. There’s nothing that replaces seat time, and guys that have experience at this level know how to put together an entire race, not just a segment.” Tony Stewart, The 2014 Kansas Race Preview Team Release

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Tire

Matt Kenseth and the 2014 Goodyear Support Our Troops Tire (Photo Courtesy of Goodyear)

Goodyear will again be running a SUPPORT OUR TROOPS tire design this year at all NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the month of May, culminating in the longest race of the NASCAR season, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25th.  The custom tires (see photo above) will coincide with the launch of Goodyear’s fifth annual “Goodyear Gives Back” campaign—a charitable program benefiting the Support Our Troops® Organization, a nonprofit nationwide organization that works to bolster the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families.

Tony Stewart’s pit crew rushes around the #14 Bass Pro Chevy (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

I am not a fan of racing at super speedways- much the way some people aren’t fans of road courses.  There usually isn’t a lot of mixing it up on super speedways- because it’s just too dangerous to press your luck.  I like my races to have at least a little more balance between skill and luck (honstly I like my races to be heavier in the skill than the luck and not vice versa). Races at Talladega are much more luck than skill in my opinion- luck in that IF you can stay out of someone else’s mess then you might have a chance succeed. (more…)

Tony speaks with Ryan Newman at Talladega 2013

Tony Stewart speaks with Ryan Newman at Talladega 2013 (photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“It’s trial and error, but at the same time, it’s like pulling a pin on a grenade. You know through that process that if one guy makes a mistake, your car’s torn up. It’s just a delicate balance of how hard you go, how many things you try, and how much time you spend doing it.” Tony Stewart- pre-spring Talladega team release

 

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TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

One of the hot topics right now in the NASCAR world is the Sprint Cup season race schedule and how it could be improved. Best I can tell it started with Brad Keselowski coming up with what would be a dream schedulefor him.  Then others got in on the opinion making- the most recent of them being Darrell Waltrip during the pre-race show.  One thing that both Darrell Waltrip and Brad Keselowski’s schedules have in common is coming to the west coast right out of Daytona, and staying there; lumping Vegas, Sonoma, Auto Club and Phoenix all together in the schedule. It’s almost as if they are just getting us out of the way- and then leaving us NASCAR fans in the west high and dry the rest of the season.

Sunset over the grandstands at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sunset over the grandstands at Las Vegas Motor Speedway- March 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

As a BIG NASCAR fan in that geographic area who has been to all four of those tracks and who has actually even been to all four of those tracks in one year- I can tell you that a schedule like this would be HUGE mistake.  I am a regular working girl (and no- this blog is not work- I have a M-F 8-5 job).  Lumping the “west coast” dates into one leg of a schedule is a huge mistake because as a working girl like myself can’t afford to take a month off of work to go from track to track- and I dare say most other fans can NOT either.  Several fans in this demographic try to travel to multiple races in their area (for instance Vegas AND Auto Club or Vegas AND Phoenix or Auto Club AND Sonoma). (more…)

The 14 Crew services the Rush Truck Centers Chevy

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and others pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

First off- I am going to start with the end of the race: Was that not an exciting finish to the race? It’s too bad that not all races can be that exciting: with four cars bumping and banging and digging hard for the win during those final laps.  I am sure more people would watch the races if they were hearing NASCAR fans talking about THAT at the water cooler on Monday.  Those last several laps even had me forgetting, if just for a moment, how dismal of a race my driver was having.  Of course it didn’t help that my driver’s race was so crappy that during the last 150 laps or so- he hardly said a word on the radio. A quiet Tony? Is usually a pissed off Tony.

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