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I am going to admit it- it has been a long time since I have been to a Truck Series race- especially a truck race at Las Vegas!  So when Misty mentioned us applying for credentials to cover it I was totally for it!!

One of the best things about the truck race at Vegas is that they let anyone in the NEON GARAGE which is one of my favorite parts of Las Vegas Motor Speedway because you can look right in to the garage bays and watch the crews work on the trucks! The kids their with there parents wandering around the Neon Garage seemed to really enjoy the “behind the scenes” views- and they especially enjoyed it when the drivers would wander over to the autograph windows at the rear of each garage bay between practices.  Sometimes the garage passes are a bit pricy for the cup races and might prevent families from enjoying the garage area. The fact that the neon garage was free was great because the kids could experience the garage area for free which makes the event family friendly! And that is how you hook a young race fan.  You let them into the garage area.  Trust me. I know these things.

It was also fun to watch some of the pressers- some of the younger drivers in the series are far less media saavy than more experienced truck and cup drivers (I am especially thinking of Ryan Blaney here- I don’t know if he is shy or what but he hardly looked up at all during his presser znd his hat was screwed down tight on his head- you could barely see his face).

But everyone, fans, drivers, media: was there for one reason! THE RACE. The race was awesome and did NOT disappoint. Race winner was a very excited Timothy Peters!

Here are some pictures from here and there around the track:

Monitors in Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Neon Garage

Monitors in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach).

Many more pictures after the jump…

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Ryan Newman was in the Big Apple yesterday helping Wheat Thins promote Wheat Thins BIG Bag Bold Flavor. I really want one of these big bags for no other reason than the fact that they are indeed What Thins in a BIG bag! They are available throughout the month of October at your neighborhood 7-11 in the following flavors: Chili Cheese, Spicy Buffalo and Zesty Salsa for the awesome price of 2 for $2.00!! Personally I am a Zesty Salsa girl- but I must say I don’t recall ever tasting the Chili Cheese flavor. At that price why not says me!!

Here are some pictures from the event:

What? No Slurpees? This 7-11 turned to an all Wheat Thins store for the day in NY. (Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images on behalf of Wheat Thins).

Hey Ryan Newman- That is one BIG bag of Wheat thins you have there! NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Ryan Newman Teams Up With Wheat Thins to take over 7-Eleven Store on October 2, 2013 in New York City. (Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images on behalf of Wheat Thins).

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Team 14 works on the 14 during a pit stop at Dover

Team 14 works on the 14 during a pit stop at Dover. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook page- click picture for original)

I wasn’t home for Chase Race 3- I was still off in Vegas where I went for the truck race (post about that coming tomorrow hopefully) and to visit Misty (and her adorable little doxie puppy).  I had forgotten how fun it is to watch a race with her. We were actually having lunch during the last part of the race and were “watching” using twitter and the NASCAR Mobile 13 ap.  She was in a roar because Jeff Gordon (her driver) was right there in the thick of it all…I remember that feeling. So while she monitor twitter, I sat there with the mobile ap open reading out intervals to her. I know what she was thinking. Please don’t let my driver fall any further back. Please let my driver pick up one more, two more, three more positions. I have been there. In 2011 I thought I was going to need to carry a bottle of Maalox with me for the Chase. I remember sitting on the deck of the media center in Phoenix watching each lap pass by one after the other.

Mark Martin gets ready in Dover

Mark Martin, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, adjusts his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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I am climbing in the HHR and heading back down to Vegas to visit Misty and for the #NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race! Whoo hoo- we haven’t been to a race track since June- and that is just TOO LONG (especially considering that our next Cup race isn’t until Phoenix in November- YEY Phoenix- it’s my favorite track that I have been to).  Plus I think it’s been quite awhile since I have been to a truck series race.

By the way- if you are going to be in Las Vegas for the Smiths 350 truck race this weekend- South Point Hotel & Casino will be hosting a free autograph session with many of the truck series drivers on Friday September 27th from 7-8pm.  Check out this announcement from Las Vegas Motor Speedway for more details.

Going to the truck races also means that I will be late with the Team 14 Dover Race Report this week because I don’t come back from Vegas until Monday (and it takes me a good 7-8 hours to drive it- it’s about 500 miles so be glad you aren’t forced to watch the Amy/Vegas 500- it’s definitely not exciting and pit stops tend to take much longer than 12 seconds) and then expect to get fully slammed when I get back to work on Tuesday (I am in the middle of a project which means meetings, meetings and more meetings). For the same reason I, it will likely take me a bit to get the Truck race pictures up because I will have to sift through about 16 gigs worth of pictures.

You can always follow all my adventures real-time on Twitter and/or Facebook (usually when I am traveling or at a race I tend to be more likely to post to twitter than FB for some reason) but be prepared for NASCAR truck stuff interspersed with whatever else I just happen to be doing while in Vegas this weekend). And of course Misty has twitter as well- and likely we will end up bantering back and forth like we do.

Gratuitous Goodies after the jump (more…)

Mark Martin at NHMS

Mark Martin, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, looks on from the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at NHMS on September 20, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.(Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

There are only eight more races of the 2013 NASCAR season now- eight. Usually at this point in the season I am starting to dread the end of the season- but I find myself looking ahead to 2014 so much that I don’t have that usual foreboding dread about the season ending.  The reasoning behind this is two fold I am certain. The big fold being I want to see (a healed, healthy, raring to go) Tony Stewart back at the helm of the #14 Chevy SS and leading the way for the new Stewart-Haas stable.  I excited about the team dynamic for Stewart-Haas Racing next season- I have made no secret of that.  Tony Stewart, Kevin Havick and Kurt Busch…I think that has potential to be HUGE because while I am a Tony Stewart fan- I see nothing but talent in both Kevin and Kurt and think that having them work together has AWESOME written all over it (and yes I know that I am in the minority here but I do think Kurt Busch has HUGE amounts of talent).

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The 14 crew services the Mobil 1 Chevy piloted by Mark Martin at Chicagoland. (Photo credit: Stewart-Haas Facebook Page- click on link to be taken to the original)

Personally- I think that the over 5 hour rain delay was a bit much.  It has been pretty clear that mother nature is not a NASCAR far sometimes and she reared her head at Chicagoland on Sunday- just shy of halfway through the race.  (more…)

Team 14 services the #14 Bass Pro Chevy on pit road at Richmond International Raceway (photo credit: Stewart Haas Racing Official Facebook page)

I am purposely NOT going to mention the Richmond brouhaha that happened at the end of the race because I feel that I have given it enough of my time and energy as well as two blog posts.  Let’s talk about the task at hand: Team 14 and the Richmond race!

Qualifying was not stellar. However- I learned with Tony not to put stock in where they start- but in where they finish. The uber competitive race fan in me- who lives vicariously through my driver wants nothing less than a win every single race.  The points watcher in me always wants a top 5 finish. One thing that is kind of frustrating to me about short tracks (as much as I do love them)- is it is SO easy to go a lap down. And this happened again to Mark Martin in the first half of the race. I will admit it- I was a wee bit disheartened.

Mark Martin stands on the grid at Richmond

Mark Martin stands on the grid at Richmond. (Photo Credit: Official Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page)

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I really do NOT want to continue to beat a dead horse by going into the Richmond stuff again- but I feel that I have to respond to the penalties that followed the NASCAR race at Richmond especially after I posted my opinions on what happened during the race and what I thought NASCAR should do and what I thought they would do (which as I mentioned were two separate things). I posted an initial reaction to the penalties on my Facebook page, and retweeted several tweets if you follow me there- but I really feel the need to expound on what I said in both places.

Well, I think the first thing is all of us to remind ourselves, it’s a sport.  It has a tremendous amount of fun to it.  Occasionally, and particularly our role, is to regulate the sport and police it and officiate it so that everybody has got a reasonable playing field to participate in.  So we have days like today that we run across and have challenges that our role is to react to, and this is one of those days.-- Mike Helton, NASCAR President (source: 9-9-13 press conference transcript)

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