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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 11, 2012 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

This week I am giving you two Tony quotes because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want (within reason):

First is about the throwback paint scheme that I love and please SOMEONE get a picture of Tony’s throwback firesuit for me…PRETTY PLEASE:

“I enjoy anything that’s retro or goes along with the history of the sport. The car we’re running is the original Tracker Boat paint scheme, which is pretty important to Bass Pro Shops’ history. And I’m just as excited about the uniform I get to wear because it’s old-school looking. That’s what’s making this weekend so cool is there are so many throwback paint schemes coming out. It makes a special race weekend even more special.”  – Tony Stewart, Team Release- Darlington Race

And here is quote about the historical significance of Darlington:

“With the rich heritage and history at Darlington – to win there and be the first guy to win after they resurfaced it – it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. It’s just cool to win at Darlington. You think back to guys like David Pearson who were so good there. This series is just so deep in history, and this is one of those tracks where the history goes as deep as NASCAR does. To finally get a win at Darlington was a huge honor for me.” – Tony Stewart, Team Release- Darlington Race

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:

Since we are all about throwbacks this week – here is a throwback to one of the worst and yet one of my favorite pictures of Tony Stewart on track that I have ever taken. It was the first time I was at a race that he won. It made it even better that it was a track he hadn’t at the time won at before. The picture is so terrible because I was soo freaking excited by the win that I totally forgot how to work my camera (you know do things like zoom out and focus) when he did his burn out right in front of me.  I still love this picture anyway:

Very blurry portion of Tony’s burn out in Fontana 2010. (photo credit: me)

And since it was a terrible picture and I know what you are wanting…here is a good picture of Tony for you from 2011:

Tony during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Jeff Byrd 500 by Food City at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (photo credit: “borrowed” from TonyStewart.com)

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.

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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.

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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)

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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

 

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