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If you have visited the Tony Stewart Foundation website lately- you may have noticed a familiar face:

Me As A TSF Lap Leader Ambassador

Me As A TSF Lap Leader Ambassador

Yep that is me. If you click the READ MORE OF AMY’S STORY- the story expands and you can learn more about me and why I am a Tony Stewart Foundation Lap Leader.  For those who aren’t familiar with the Tony Stewart Foundation- it was created by Tony as a “vehicle” to give back to those organizations that support causes that support his three passions: seriously or chronically ill children, endangered animals, and injured racers.  So a TSF Lap Leader is someone who donates to the Tony Stewart Foundation monthly automatic donation to the  Tony Stewart Foundation of at least $14.00 a month.  As a than you for your donation- you get goodies sent to you once a quarter- and let me tell you some of the thank you goodies are awesome- my favorite one was a small canvas artwork created children and animals from the very organizations that the foundation helps every year.

You can even specify which arm of the foundation you want your funds to support! You can choose between Children’s Health, Animal Welfare, Driver Health or (the one I chose) Where It’s Most Needed.  Your donations go to help the foundation fund grants to worthy organizations! You can keep up with the TSF Foundation on Facebook to find out more about specific organizations they donate to.

If a monthly donation is not something you can manage- there are many other ways you can help. Of course they gladly accept one time donations (I started out donating once around around Tony’s birthday).  And there is the Amazon Smile program where shop amazon and can set The Tony Stewart Foundation as your charity of choice and they will get a small percentage (0.5%) donated to them off your eligible amazon purchases. It is no extra money to you- it’s donated by amazon on your behalf.  It’s easy to do- and it’s free to you.

they also have merchandise you can purchase (like the Racer14 plates) that help!

The Tony Stewart Foundation is easy for me to stand behind as a way to support my driver and support great causes at the same time especially since, like Tony, I too am passionate about both kids and animals. It’s easier to me to give to TSF then to check out multiple charities to donate to. Oh and did I mention that the donations are tax deductible? It truly is win-win for me because I support great organizations and my favorite driver at the same time.

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#SmokeAlwaysRises

Friday is the Amy-To-Vegas 500 and Monday is the Home-Again-500. Join me on twitter (@badgroove) for updates.

Amy- start  your engine.

 

On a sunny Sunday in late March I drove my beloved silver 2008 Chevrolet HHR LT to my local Chevy dealership and left a few hours later with a bright shiny champagne silver…Chevy Equinox. Those who follow this blog or even my online social media are probably surprised that I didn’t leave with a Chevy Camaro. I have loved the Camaro since they re-debuted it and I continue to.  It’s a gorgeous car especially in that hot bright yellow color that I love.

So how on earth did I come out with a small SUV then?  Did I get talked into it by the salesman? Was it a last minute, impulse buy? The answer to both of the latter questions there are a resounding no. I went to the dealership with the express purpose of test driving a specific Equinox that I had already been discussing back and forth with the dealer through email and to see what they would give me for my HHR. As a matter of fact we had already done most of the haggling about the Equinox over email, and I had already been approved for financing.  It was just a matter of details. I went in knowing full well what an HHR was worth thanks to KBB.com as a trade in (you can also see what you can expect to get for it if you sell it yourself- something I did NOT want to go through the hassle of trying to do).

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I posted this on my Facebook yesterday…but realized this morning while I was driving to work that I probably should have posted it here too:

I haven’t said much about the incident at Canandaigua because I can’t. I can only envisage the heartbreak the Ward family feels. I am also crushed for Tony. I know in my heart that, despite some claims, it was not intentional. I can only imagine how this weighs on him.

What I can say is that the nearly instantaneous vilification of Stewart last night and today has disheartened me more than I can express and has made me seriously wonder about the nature of humanity.

I meant that- and as you probably noticed Misty was the one who wrote her opinion about the accident because I just didn’t have the heart to post anything.  Between social media trolls unleashing personal attacks on fans who were trying to make sense of a tragedy in their own internet spaces and the sensationalistic and downright misinformed mainstream “media” I am still reeling and severely disappointed in what I saw of human nature. Sure maybe I look at the world through rosy colored glasses but I like that color because it makes the world I live in liveable.

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Tony’s not panicking yet:

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart during pre-race ceremonies at the Party In The Pococos Race 2013 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“Especially with the new rules package this year, I don’t think anybody is in panic mode. We’re still learning these cars and going to tracks for the first time in the season. Six or eight weeks before Richmond, then you start panicking if you don’t have that win. I think it’s still too early to panic, at least for us.” Tony Stewart, Pocono Pre-race Team Release 2014

Side note…this is the first paragraph of the team release for Pocono that I pulled my quote from:

Brussels sprouts rarely make an appearance on anyone’s list of favorite foods. And why would they? They’re a leafy, green vegetable that, depending on how they’re prepared, can have a questionable texture and bitter taste. Yet, they’re packed with nutrients, including anticancer properties, earning them “it’s good for you” status from generations of moms.– Tony Stewart Pocono 400 pre-race team release

I don’t know what it says about me- but I like Brussels sprouts (and no I am not a mom).

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous TQMS posts.

#GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

zMAXDragway in Concord, NC Summer of 2012 (Photo Credit Bryan Howland Photography)

One of my Facebook friends shared the above picture on my wall a while back (Hi Shannon!) and I just love it on so many levels.  First off it’s just a beautiful picture- I could hang that in my office or something if I had a copy.  But it’s more that than- it’s the face that it’s a race way.  Even though it’s technically a drag strip in North Carolina I have never been to and I am a NASCAR girl from California – this photo has me jonesing hard to be at a race track. (more…)

If you know me- you know I love to take pictures. If you know me you also know that I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to those pictures so I can come back from any given event or outing with 300-3000 pictures and only find maybe 50 that I actually like (sometimes more- occasionally less). Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Kobalt 400 Race:

I don’t know why but I love this one of Tony Stewart’s number 14 pulling out of his garage stall- which happened to be directly under me at the time:

Heading out for practice

Tony Stewart pulls his #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Chevy out of his garage bay at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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Cars on track at Laguna Seca

This picture has nothing to do with the post other than it’s a favorite of cars on track at Laguna Seca that I have taken. This was taken during the 2012 ALMS race in what I believe is turn 7 but I could be wrong about the turn number. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So several weeks ago I promised you all a story at the end of this post about the first Chase race. Really it’s the story of my first ever race…and I am not talking my first NASCAR race.

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away- back when the IRL series was known as the CART series, my dad decided that my fandom of motorsports was not a flash in the pan and I think secretly he was thrilled.  The Indy cars were coming to Laguna Seca- which is very close to where we lived.  At the time I was into that series (I lost interest in it when CART split into IRL and CHAMP and half of my favorite drivers went one way and half went the other way). Since I had always shown a love of racing and specifically CART at the time- my dad laid down what I know was big bucks for him at the time for weekend grandstand tickets in Turn 11 as well as weekend paddock passes for the two of us for the race in Monterey.  I was a teenager at the time- so it was probably somewhere around 1990-1991 I think.  My parents even excused my absence from school so that we could take full advantage of our weekend tickets. (more…)