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So to me it seemed like the 14 Team and crew chief Steve Addington had to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the #14 Chevy during the 301 laps at New Hampshire Speedway yesterday. It was near painful to watch the team struggle getting the car where it seemed drivable.  And when I say they threw everything at it- they threw EVERYTHING at it. The first caution pitstop they threw 2 tires (most teams were taking 2)  fuel 1 round up on the track bar and 2 rounds of wedge.  Yet Tony continued to struggle- even after searching for different grooves on the track and being unsuccessful.  The team eventually fell a lap down struggling with grip (I believe at one point Tony mentioned wanting to choke the Goodyear engineers in his frustration with lack of grip).

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, comes in for a pit stop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

The team has to be credited for not giving up though. After falling a lap down the team was able to get back on the lead lap (and stay there) by taking a wave around.  Then during the last caution pit stop Steve Addington took another HUGE swing at the car- calling for yet another track bar adjustment AND spring rubbers out of the front of the car. He restarted in 16th and was able to move up through the field to 11th at one point.  He finished the race 12th and fell down to 7th in the points.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, stands on the grid during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

I don’t really have any “notes” for this race and while watching the race I thought it might be fun for me to share some of my favorite race day tweets with you. You can click on the tweet to be taken to the original. Let me know if you like this feature!

My Favorite Race Day Tweets from LOUDEN, NH:


Next weekend is an off weekend as teams prep for the Brickyard 400!


**** This contest is now closed. The winner will be notified soon via email. **** (more…)

Here is the latest suggested readings from the NASCAR world that I thought were interesting. Hope you like them

Speak Your Mind: Analyzing The All-Star Race Format- Skirts and Scuffs Staff

I Like Sentiment When It’s Not Mine: Heart Gladdened By Latest Hall Inductees- By Monte Dutton for the Gaston Gazette

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Has An Offer For Bill Backing Republican- Dustin Long for USAToday.com

Five Things I Learned From My First Real Go-Kart Race- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Jeff Gordon Opens Up About Racing And His Other Passion: Helping Kids- Greg Bailey for News Channel 36

In the Infield, They’re Not Fans– They’re Family- David Caraviello for NASCAR.COM

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Tony Stewart and Steve Addington at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Tony Stewart and Steve Addington discuss All-Star Set ups (Photo Credit: Blatantly stole from the Tony Stewart Facebook page- click picture to be taken to original).

On February 17th (seems like ages ago doesn’t it?) the 48 car entered in the Daytona 500 field failed it’s initial race entry inspection because of illegal C-posts.  The C-Posts were confiscated by NASCAR and the team was allowed to repair the 48 car and go back through inspection and then into practice.  First thought is where the heck is the C-Post…well I found and stole this graphic from an old article on NASCAR.com:

Click graphic to be taken to the story on NASCAR.com that it was borrowed from.

Anyway- today NASCAR announced the “punishment” for the illegal parts. They were found to be in violation of three sections of the NASCAR rulebook*:

Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications)

Chad Knaus, crew chief of the 48, was fined $100,000 and suspended for 6 weeks. Car chief of the 48, Ron Malec, was also suspended for 6 weeks.  Jimmie Johnson was fined 25 driver points. Jeff Gordon was fined 25 owner points.

Wow…is it me or is that a little heavy handed? I posted a sentiment like that on my facebook and I guess it might just be me. But never the less I stand by my initial reaction that it’s a harsh penalty…too harsh.  I have several reasons why I think the fines are a bit much:

  1. It’s my understanding that this particular car had been used several times last season. If that is the case- why did it not fail any of those numerous inspections? (Initial inspection, post qualifying inspection, post race inspection). I mean sure I suppose the car could have been completely changed during the off season- but really?
  2. NASCAR needs to be more consistant with it’s fines.  What do I mean by this? Consider this- Clint Bowyer’s car failed post-qualifying inspection.  Yet NASCAR did not offer any fines whatsoever there- not even a mention of possible fines the whole week between qualifying and race day. Yet as soon as the 48 failed inspection on Friday- it was news and talk of heavy fines floated around the team ALL week long.  While the parts that failed inspection are apples and oranges- the end result is this- the cars were both non-standard and thus failed inspection. Yet one team was heavily penalized and the other was let go without even a slap on the wrist.  This is unfair and unequal treatment between teams. NASCAR needs to decide whether or not they are going to be heavy handed rulebook thumpers or the nice “give a team the benefit of the doubt” kind of sanctioning body. It can’t be both.
  3. Since it was the initial inspection and the team never practiced or qualified with the offending parts on the car, I don’t think it should be fined at all. Technically the team gained nothing from the offending parts because they did not USE said parts- the car never touched track.  They removed them and I assume that the car that Jimmie raced in the 500 this past Monday had no technical issues (with the exception of the big technical issue of being crashed in lap two). This, going back to the Clint Bowyer senario mentioned in 2, is really unfair because if there was something unstandard on Bowyer’s car he practiced and qualified the offending part- having gained some possible benefit from it.

Now I am sure some people will argue with “But Chad has done this before- remember when he was suspended and Darian Grubb took the helm as crew chief?” Yes, I have not forgotten this.  My thought in this- Chad and the 48 team have already paid for those mistakes…Chad was removed and fined for those issues. That issue is closed. This is a separate issue. To that arguement doesn’t make any sense. It’s like a tardy student getting expelled instead of suspended this year because they had an unexcused absence and and an additional unexcused absence five years ago, that they already served a detention for five years ago.

So there you have my three reasons I think NASCAR was heavy handed with the fines.  Misty, while agreeing with me in general that the NASCAR punishment is too harsh, also has some good albeit different points about the situation and I highly suggest that you read her post about it as well: The 48 Smackdown: Overkill.


* I want a rulebook. Just because.

Every year for the past several years (what’s it been like three at least?) the Tony Stewart Foundation raffles off a Chevy Camaro.  My excitement for these raffles were two fold:

1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Chevy Camaro. It’s a beautiful car.

2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Tony Stewart Foundation and the causes it supports.  Who doesn’t love kids? Or Animals? Or both?

This year- the Tony Stewart Foundation is raffling off  another Chevy- but they’ve mixed things up!  This year? It’s winner’s choice of  Chevy models. (The TSF pages says four chevy models: Corvette, Camaro, Traverse and Silverado…but the Rules states: Avalanche, Camaro, Corvette, Cruze, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Sonic, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse).  Winner chooses the model, the color, and the upgrades (up to $50,000).

Raffle tickets this year are $100.00 but the raffle is limited to 3,000 tickets sold. You have until October 1st, 2012 to purchase your ticket.  As of this writing there were only 2912 raffle tickets left!

ADDED BONUS: Each raffle ticket purchaser before April 4th 2011 receives an autographed 2011 Championship Picture.

Remember- not only are you getting a chance to win a Chevy that is truly YOU…but you are also helping the Tony Stewart Foundation help Children, Animals, and Injured Drivers.

To purchase a raffle ticket or for more information visit:


Office Depot Racing is giving FIVE lucky fans the chance to win a trip to Las the race in LAS VEGAS on March 11th, 2012!

Visit the Office Depot Racing I’m With Smoke website and enter in to win in the bar on the right. Five winners will receive: 2 tickets to the March 11th race (I will be there won’t you?), $750 dollars, $50 Office Depot gift card, and a 1:24 Autographed Diecast of the #14 Office Depot Chevy!

You can’t win if you don’t enter but you must enter by 2.23.2012, 11:59PM ET! Good luck!!

The winners in the BadGroove #Smokin2012 were chosen by random draw on Wednesday.

Aaron won the Tony Stewart/ SHR Sweatshirt.
Gina won the Smoke Brand T-shirt.
Mary Ann won the mystery “runner up” prize.

All prizes have been mailed (usps) as of yesterday! Congratulations winners!

So, I have been waiting for something to arrive so that I could give it away here on Badgroove and have this mega contest with FOUR Tony Stewart items to give away but that ONE item is still not here and I am getting impatient. I just can’t wait any longer to give away some goodies to you (don’t worry- when the wayward item comes in I will still have the give away for it). (more…)