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photo source: Amy K. Marbach

Started: 10th

Finished: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Points: 196 (32nd in the standings, 9 points away from 30th and 3 points away from 31th).

Quote of the (post) Race: “All you got to do is give me that little bit of hope and I will run with it.” — Tony Stewart, Post race press conference 6-26-16 This was my FAVORITE quote from his very quip filled post race presser because I think it not only describes Tony Stewart to a T but us fans too- am I right?!?! (more…)

(Photo credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Well it’s an off week for the NASCAR races this week…but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t stuff pinging around my head like lugnuts during a green flag pit stop.

1. Last week we talked about Brad Keselowski’s comments about Jeff Gordon being in the booth. Afterwards Jeff Gordon interviewed Brad about his comments. You can see that interview here:

While I still do not necessarily agree with some of the things Brad says (especially about what kind of comments someone with a “stake” in the game should be able to make in the booth) I think it’s interesting to hear what he had to say about the situation.

2. Speaking of Jeff Gordon- there is a biography of Jeff  coming out in October that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You can be sure that this book (Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny, scheduled to release October 18th, by author Joe Garner) will be reviewed for Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List if I have to buy the sucker myself. You can read and excerpt here and order it from the Jeff Gordon store and get some extra digital behind-the-scenes goodies as well as a poster shipped with your book.

3. One more Jeff Gordon tidbit I wanted to point out today before we move on is this article on Popular Speed about the author’s personal experience with Jeff Gordon and his personal experience interview Jeff about his foundation. It’s a good read:  WAID’S WORLD: How a Meeting With Gordon Lifted One Man’s Spirit

4. I wanted to share another great article from Kristen Schneider  of Skirts and Scuffs. This one is about FoxSports1′s Danielle Trotta. It’s a great read: Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back. You know that I am a huge fan of Skirts and Scuffs and this article is another shining example of why.

5. I think Tony Stewart has a great understanding of social media as evidenced in this video from Mobil 1: (more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Josh Hedges/Getty Images North America)

Started: 3rd

Finished: 7th

Points: 152 (35th in the standings, 45 points away from 30th and 8 points away from 34th).

No matter where Tony starts in the grid I have always said that finishing better than what you started is a good day.  Tony may have finished 4 spots lower than where he started the race- but it’s really hard to call it a bad day when Tony Stewart and Team 14 had such a great weekend over all. This is the kind of weekend us Smoke fans have been wanting to see so I can only imagine the same is true for Tony and the team itself. (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart facebook page)

It’s been a while since I pulled together one of my gift-giving guides.  I figured with Father’s day right around the corner I would through out some suggestions for the Tony Stewart loving father or husband in your life! So without further ado- here are some gift ideas for the Tony Stewart fan in your life:

Texas fans can sign dad up for the 8th annual Smoke Show which takes place at Texas Motor Speedway on October 12th, 2016. What is the Smoke Show? It’s a fantasy stock car camp where participants will be given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a NASCAR driver during a typical race day, drive competitive laps in a stock car on Texas Motor Speedway and interact with Stewart throughout the event! Best part is that this is the gift that gives back as all proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.  You can visit the Texas Chapter Speedway Children’s Charities Smoke Show Event page for more information and to sign up Dad for the experience of a lifetime with Tony Stewart.

California Tony Stewart fans have the opportunity to sign up for the VIP Experience with Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway on June 25th. This experience is a hospitality experience with Tony Stewart.  Limited to 100 participants the Smoke VIP guests access to a deluxe mobile hospitality facility, garage tour, a Q&A experience with Tony Stewart, A professional picture taken with Tony, an autographed momento and more. The donation for the ticket goes directly to the Tony Stewart Foundation to fund their grant program. For information about the VIP Experience and to purchase tickets before they sell out visit the Tony Stewart Foundation VIP Experience website. There won’t be many opportunities like this before Tony Stewart retires for active NASCAR driving! Sign dad (or yourself) up now- it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for California fans- or any fans willing to go to Sonoma Raceway! (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

Since the race was on Monday- there seem to be fewer lugnuts pinging around my brain than normal- but here are the few that are pinging around. One gets a little soapboxy…so sorry about that.  Let’s get to them shall we?

1. First and foremost on my mind is Brad Keselowski and his comments about Jeff Gordon in the booth.  According to Sports Nation this is what Brad said:

“They need to get some people that aren’t inbred to the sport and own teams and have internal knowledge, because that is pretty crappy. It is what it is,” Keselowski added, via ESPN. “It’s not that I don’t like Jeff Gordon in the booth, it’s just that you need to have people in the booth that don’t own teams or have commercial interests to the sport, because they say things that are very biased.”

So first thing I am going to address is Brad using the term “inbred” in his statement because I have seen comments from several Jeff Gordon fan’s who have taken extreme offense to that term.  I do not think (and I could be wrong) that brad meant it as an affront to Jeff Gordon- stating that he is inbred.  I think that was just a poor choice of wording on Brad’s part. I think Brad meant it more in the way that one would use the words ingrained or inherent not in the “persons conceived of breeding between two closely related individuals” sort of sense.

However I do not agree with his assertion that Jeff Gordon shouldn’t be announcing in the booth because he is biased because he has a commercial interest in a team on the track. You can NOT tell me that any announcer or reporter for that matter is not biased in some fashion or other. It’s how they deal with that bias. While yes Jeff Gordon is financially involved in a race team on track (in an owner role with Jimmie Johnson’s team) it’s not like he is sitting there jabbering on and on about how great Jimmie is and that is it it. Jeff provides insight into the race from a fairly current driver stand point- he is more familiar with the cars than the other announcers. I appreciate and like his insights above all the other announcers to be frank (although Mike Joy is a close second). I would rather hear the race from the point of view from an announcer/commentator that knows the sport from the inside than have say…an ex-football player who knows nothing about racing sitting up there trying to commentate on what is happening on the track. I am sure that football fans would rather hear their games commentated on by ex-players and coaches than by say…ex tennis players who don’t know the sport. See where I am going with this? Do I want John McEnroe commentate a NASCAR race? Um no, not really. I want to hear about it from someone who knows what it’s like in that car, and who knows what officials are looking at.  It’s not like Jeff Gordon is the one that reported the possible hip check by the jack man on Brad’s car. He was just explaining it and the penalty and comparing it to a similar penalty in Vegas (which I would compare it to as well). They explained it on the MRN broadcast too (for those of us who had to listen instead of watch because of work obligations.  Brad’s not being picked on. Tony’s team got penalized for illegal body modification prior to a race last week at Charlotte- it was why he started at the rear of the field and why his crew chief is now on probation through the end of the year. I really do not understand what Brad’s issue is. Does that mean Dale Jr shouldn’t commentate before the Xfinity race series? It just seems like a pointless complaint. Plus- and I mentioned this on twitter- what does it really matter to Brad since that he is in the car and not listening to the commentary anyway.

(more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

Started: 6th

Finished: 34th

Points: 118 points (currently 36th in the points 71 points behind 30th place currently held by David Ragan and only 1 point behind 35th place Cole Whitt) *** (this is by my math- and not official) ***.

Because the Axalta 400 got postponed until Monday I couldn’t watch it because of work.  I tried to figure out how to watch on FoxSportsGo but I couldn’t get my directv login to work despite it working for other things. So I listened to MRN using SiriuxXM, listened to Tony’s radio on my NASCAR ap and watched twitter like a hawk.  So that’s how I “watched” the race at Pocono.  It’s funny because I always listen to Tony’s radio while I am watching the national broadcast and it’s usually a lap or two behind. But while listening to SiriusXM- it was a good two to four laps ahead of the Sirius. I found out about Tony’s wreck before I was hearing it because Misty texted me a sad face with the word dammit. She told me about the wreck before either Sirius or Tony’s radio could. (more…)

The crew of Kevin Harvick’s #4 team donning their NurvGear face shields

Hey SHR Fans! I wanted to introduce you all to a cool new product for us SHR fans made for the outdoor enthusiast in mind: NurvGear now has Face Shields that are made with specifically licensed patterns from your favorite SHR drivers! These face shields offer great protection in the outdoors and I can think of several different uses for them.

NurvGear 4 face shield

So for those unfamiliar, NurvGear was founded as a company devoted to those that live, dream, and explore the great outdoors; fishing, trekking, skiing, biking, racing, and much more. Their products (the faceshields are just one of a line of products by NurvGear including hats and a variety of different kinds of shirts) designed for comfort and function in the great outdoors.

These face shields are not just your typical bandana. Just check out these five features of each NurvGear face shield :

1. Repels moisture keeping you cooler & dryer, for longer

2. Provides SPF 40 protection from the harsh rays of the sun

3. Helps maintain hydration,

4. Antibacterial so you can even share with your friends (not that you will want to- tell them to buy their own)

5. Made with a stain resistant formula

There are several patterns for each SHR racing driver! Can’t decide which one you want- don’t fear! NurvGear has  discount packs of two or four shields where you pick the SHR face shield bandanas you want and you get a discount on the total cost- how awesome is that (they have the same thing for their non-SHR face shields too). Get two (or four) different face shield bandanas or get them all same. Keep them all for yourself or share them with friends.  Use them hiking, fishing, biking, at the races wherever- the possibilities are endless and the designs are cool. I personally have my eye on this Tony Stewart Always A Racer one (and one of their straw hats too):

Although I really like this one too- good think they have those special deal packs:

By the way- have I mentioned how much I love the “Always A Racer, Forever A Champion” logo? I do…A LOT.  As in I would have it painted on the hood of my Chevy Equinox if I had the means…but I am seriously digressing here. Check out the NurvGear guards today and pick up one or two or four.

Mike Casto sporting the NurvGear guard

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

With the long weekend it seems like all my posts have been pushed off by a day because honestly- I was hiking with the dogs and not thinking about writing blog posts…and I readily admit it. Sometimes even an Amy needs a break. But this is what has been pinging around my brain this week like lugnuts in a pitbox during a green flag pit stop:

1. I am not the only one off by a day. NASCAR announced their post race penalties on Wednesday this week instead of their usual Tuesday- likely because of the holiday.  Smoke fans seem up in arms about Tony Stewart crew chief Mike Bugarewicz (wow that was the first time I spelled it right without having to look it up all season) being placed on probation through the rest of the 2016 season because of the unapproved body modification that was done as the car was being pushed out to the grid on Sunday. This was the reason Tony Stewart dropped to 39th position before the start of the race despite having qualified 21st for the Coca-Cola 600. The penalty seems fair to me. However accidental the modification was the body was still modified.  It’s no different than in March of 2015 when Paul Wolfe was put on suspension after the crew was caught pulling out the side fenders on the 2 car prior to qualifying for the 2015 Kobalt 400.  The crew chief is responsible for the crew right?  As a fan I hate for my driver and his team but I understand that it has to be done.

2. There were quite a few other penalties dished out this week including: Brian Pattie, crew chief for Greg Biffle, who was fined $50,000, suspended from all NASCAR points events through June 15, and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Additionally the 16 team has been assessed with the loss of 15 championship owner and 15 championship driver points. This was also do to unapproved body modification. Crew Chiefs Tony Gibson (Kurt Busch) and Randall Burnett (AJ Allmendinger) were each suspended from competition for the Pocono weekend, fined $20,000, and placed on probation through the remainder of the season  for lugnut violations.  Paul Menard is docked 15 minutes of practice time at Pocono for pre-race inspection issue. The teams of Aric Almirola, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth all received written warnings for pre-qualifying inspection issues.  Whew- is that a load of penalties for one race or what?

3. In cased you missed the NASCAR RACEDAY interview Kenny Wallace did with Tony Stewart you can view that here:  (more…)