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Wow am I late with this race post- but as happens with nearly all races I attend in person- I go to the race- have a blast and then come home and slammed in the face by “reality” when I get back. Sigh. Plus I took 1800+ pictures myself,  with Misty taking an additional 650+ pictures.  I had to then weed through them and process some of them for the blog- which takes time as I am sure you can imagine! A big  thank you to all of my readers for being so patient.

Sonoma Raceway Grandstands

Sonoma Racway 2013. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Misty and I get to Sonoma Raceway early on Friday, pick up our respective credentials, park in lot M as directed by the parking attendants (which in both Misty and I’s opinion seem to be the BEST at nearly any track we have been to thus far), shuttled to the media center- found our respective spots (schwing- right next to each other- no having to ask about swapping and BONUS we had front row window seats that looked out onto pit road and what would eventually be Greg Biffle’s pit stall) and then we headed towards the garage area before it got to crowded. (more…)

First let me congratulate Larry Armitage who was the winner of the GoBowling.com 400/Pocono Raceway Swag prize package.  Random.org picked number 4 and Larry was the fourth commenter on the post. Congratulations Larry- your prize package should be on it’s way to you soon!

And now for the housekeeping part!  Yes I was at the race in Sonoma (I am really starting to love that track).  On the plus side? I took 1802 pictures (not counting the ones I instagrammed through out the weekend). On the not-so-plus side? I  was using a new-to-me camera (a Canon 5D Mark II) and a new-to-me lens -so while some of the pictures came out AWESOME…some also came out not so awesome. I have been going through them and will have them along with the race report up as soon as I can- I have been a bit slammed at the day job so the last thing I want to do it go home and edit pictures (cropping is my friend)!

I mentioned in the my last race report that I was on a non-NASCAR vacation towards the end of last week. It wasn’t a non-sports vacation though as the main purpose of my trip was to go to a major league baseball game (my first ever)! As part of (bff) Misty’s Christmas present last year I gave her a baseball game- but not just any baseball game but a baseball game of her two favorite teams playing each other. That would be the Yankees and the Angels. So I scored us tickets and we met in Anaheim for the game. Our hotel was centrally located between Disneyland and Angels stadium which was great because pretty much we could walk everywhere we needed to go- the Garden Walk in Anaheim has all the restaurants one could need for a short trip and was just a couple blocks from the hotel and Angels Stadium was just over a mile away so we walked and saved ourselves the $10 parking fee.

Play Ball

The game is underway in the early evening at Angels Stadium (Photo Credit: Amy K Marbach)

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**THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!! THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!!!**

This contest is brought you to by the GoBowling.Com/Pocono Raceway Partnership!

When the opportunity to give one of my readers a GoBowling.com 400/Pocono Raceway prize pack came across my desk I admit I jumped at the offer! Who doesn’t love free stuff? (more…)

The 14 crew services Tony’s car during a pitstop for the Quicken Loans 400 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page- Click picture to be taken to the original)

Qualified: 14th (after wrecking a car within minutes during first practice and moving to a backup car).

Finished: 5th

Race Winner: Greg Biffle

Points After Pocono: 10th in the points standings! Tony is now 121 points out of first place in the standings!  We are 2 points ahead of 11th currently so we do not need the wild card.  However Tony does have 1 win for the wild card berth should he need it.

My Mood After Pocono: Happy as an uncooked clam in his shell. (more…)

As promised- here is Kevin M. Boot’s guest post about his experiences at the Party In The Poconos 400. Sounds like Kevin had a great time and I thank him for his post and the GREAT pictures that he shared with us! Be sure to check out the link to his complete photo album from the Party In The Poconos 400- there are many more GREAT shots from the race!– Amy

I heard about the $25 dollar race tickets on the “Fan Driven Pocono 400″ Facebook page. It played in the back of my mind, enticing me with a cheap race day. I got my ticket. Walmart sponsoring the race made it interesting since they let the fans vote on everything from the race name to the color of the Camaro pace car. They even had the fans vote on a new “signature food item” for the race track.

The Party In The Ponocos Pace Car

The Party In The Ponocos Pace Car takes to the track. (Photo Credit: Kevin M. Boots)

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Even though the Party In The Poconos 400 is over- do not despair! You can still visit Walmart.com/NASCAR to get a family track pack of tickets to many upcoming races!  A Family track pack is $99.00 and includes four race tickets, four Cokes, and four hot dogs! That is a good deal! They still have track packs left for New Hampshire, The GoBowling.COM race at Pocono, and many other races. Check them out now.

Remember you can pick up all your race needs at WALMART- including driver gear, snacks and things like sunscreen- which I always seem to forget! (Long Pond, PA – JUN 09, 2013: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams take to the track for the PARTY IN THE POCONOS 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. photo provided by Walmart)

Also if you are at a race- check out the WALMART near the track- they are not only a great place to stock up on supplies for the race (don’t forget the sunscreen when you are picking up your race snacks) but they often have fun race related displays and events going on like driver appearances and race simulators!

This year NASCAR changed what use to be called Sprint Cup Mobile into NASCAR Mobile 13.  I am not going to lie- having a NASCAR ap was one of the BIG reasons I switched over to Sprint from Verizon.  Well that and Verizon’s fees were OUTRAGEOUS for data plans and I really eventually planned to move to a smart phone (which I did and LOVE it).

The look of the NASCAR Mobile ’13 ap is nice and smooth. When it’s working.  I have SO MUCH trouble with the ap (and to answer your question my iPhone is hooked up to my wifi at my house and the day job so my signal strength isn’t the issue).

I was really planning on writing this post about the ap last week- when Tony was scored 19th the entire race via the NASCAR Mobile ap, it showed NO laps had run, that Denny Hamlin was the race leader, and on the screen where it shows your driver (mine is set to Tony of course) and the leader- it would show Denny. No one else. Not Tony, not the leader…just Denny Hamlin- all the time. That did me no good. NO GOOD and I had finally had it and decided to post a blog about the ap and how it didn’t quite work the way it was suppose to.  Then there was a huge NASCAR Mobile 13 ap update that very day- so I thought I would wait and see how the ap works after the update.

While after the update it worked better- it didn’t work much better.

One of the things I use the AP for is to see when the cup race starts- so I don’t miss the green flag.  Apparently one of the main times I curious about this is during the NATIONWIDE race.  If I launch the ap (despite having picked Cup Series as my series) it will only default to the Nationwide race- and I am then forever stuck in a loop where it shows me Nationwide series splash screen and will NOT for the life of me let me get to the Sprint Cup series splash screen no matter how many times I click on it in menu, restart my phone or curse at it.  During the race for Pocono the ap stayed stuck at lap 55 (although it would correctly indicate whether the race was green flag or yellow flag)- so I never knew what lap the race was on (if I was just using the ap- which thankfully I was not).  I decided on a lark to try one of the in-car camera views (new to the ap this week) and clicked on it- I got audio- but no video. I have no idea who’s in-car I even selected.  I could hear the engine in the car- but could see NOTHING but the ap.  Talk about a major fail.

My major pet peeve is that the scanner – which is the whole reason I use the ap- is to listen to Tony Stewart’s scanner. My scanner would stop and start, stop and start during Dover to the point that it pissed me off. It wasn’t as bad for the race in Pocono but still did it a few times.  Plus the scanner is always three laps behind the national broadcast- which also drives me crazy. I can see Tony’s pit stop before I hear it. Oh? And there is my biggest pet peeve- the scanner is censored. So as soon as Tony (or whomever) starts to get worked up it’s bleeped and I have no idea what he was upset about or with (by the way- when I say bleeped- I don’t mean the noise- actually it’s no noise- it just drops off). It’s very evident when the censor misses it so I hear something to the effect of “That fucking…” and then nothing.

So here are my thoughts on making the ap better:

1. Simplify it.  It’s got too many bells and whistles and not enough substance. If the basics won’t work like just letting users know what lap the race is on- then something extra spiffy like live in-car cameras aren’t going to work either.

2. Consider changing it so that there are three separate aps- one per series. That way you aren’t plugging up the data with information certain customers aren’t looking for. If I want to see what time the Sprint Cup race is on- I don’t want to have to dig through the ap to find out if I have decided to look when the Truck race is being broadcast.

3. Consider a scanner only ap- that is real-time and uncensored. That is an ap I would buy in addition to the Sprint Cup Mobile ap.  Or as a separate add-on.

And while we are on the subject of aps- I wish there was a SHR ap.  HMS has their own ap and driver Jeff Gordon has an ap of his own.  I would LOVE and SHR ap or even better an ap per driver.

Anyone else got any thoughts on the NASCAR Mobile 13 ap? Let me just say it’s a good thing it’s a free ap (since I am a sprint customer)- because I wouldn’t want to pay for it with the way it works right now.