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So this is something I wrote before the race but forgot to make into a complete thought and publish it:

  • During first practice Joey Logano smacked the wall again. He was fond of the wall in Daytona as well- smacking it several times in Florida.  Sliced bread is more like flat bread…or humpty dumpty is my personal favorite.
  • Also during first practice Jimmie Johnson was fastest with Jeff Gordon right behind him..way to go Hendrick. Now if we could only get Tony up there. (I know I know…its only practice).
  • I wish I had seen this before I published my Twitter for NASCAR fans post: Its RaceDrive’s 99 best twitter accounts to follow for Motorsports Fans. Definitely worth a checkout.

Post Race:

  • This is the first time I have watched a race on TV that is at a track I have actually been to. It was kinda weird. And it really made me wish I could be there.
  • Ok- the pre-show needs to be cut down a bit. And I love watching the preshow but over an hour? Come on…get those boys on the track already.
  • Rain made an appearance several times with a sprinkle here and there- throwing several cautions out – but no red flags- no stopping the race.  They were able to fit in all 250 laps.  Speaking of cautions- there were very few for non-water related reasons.  Amazing.
  • Tony seemed to be stuck most of the race.  He didn’t seem like he could pass very well and just ended up 8th. Teammate Ryan Newman seemed to be having the same problem…only further back in the field. Of course that thingy falling off the wing during the yellow flag didn’t help.
  • I don’t like hearing about Hendrick motor problems since they are who supplies Stewart-Haas with engines. It makes go GULP.
  • I think Logano did better this weekend. He wasn’t up there in the thick of it- however- he kept his nose clean and didn’t slam into the wall or another car…what is it they say? To finish first you must first finish?
  • When it was clear that Tony wasn’t going to fly up towards the front and win- I admit I was kinda cheering for Jeff Gordon on the inside.

Next Week’s Race: Las Vegas Motor Speedway…but expect my entry to be much later than normal.

Bill Sez: I’ll name five places. You name five things you keep in those places, and tell something interesting about one of those five things. If you don’t have one of the places, make something up. Simple, huh?

Name five things you keep in your:

1) Glove box- Owners Manuals for my car, Postage Stamps, Registration/proof of insurance, one of those seatbelt cutter/airbag popper tools(mines not that fancy though and the whistle part is missing), a pen

2) Medicine cabinet-  contacts, my toothbrush/toothpaste, perfume, Advil, cold medicine

3) Refrigerator- Eggs, Milk, yogurt, diet coke, pomegranate/blueberry juice

4) Wallet/purse- cell phone, work keys on a nascar lanyard, lipgloss, two pens, checkbook

5) Desk drawer- A small stack of hero/driver cards from the sports car championship race at laguna seca…autographed, my copy of my taxes from 2006 that I never filed away, two boxes of stationary (one pink and one blue- for writing letters old school), address labels, pens

And the Friday Fill-in Number 112:

. Give me a chance and I’ll be sure not to disappoint you.

2. Whenever you want me, I’ll be there.

3. I wish the economy would turn around already- I am sick of the stress its causing me.

4. My mom’s new recipe for teriyaki pot roast was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious.

5. To live in this world one must learn to play nicely with others.

6. Other than this one, fondofsnape.com is the last blog I commented on (I really have to get back into the commenting swing).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting a bunch of chores done, tomorrow my plans include finishing what I didn’t do tonight and Sunday, I want to watch the race in Fontana!

Have you heard of Twitter? Officially twitter is a microblogging utility.  Mini-blog posts in 140 characters or less.  There are any multitude of applications you can use to twitter…and you can interface twitter to do things like update your status on Facebook.  You can twitter from your phone via text. I originally set up my Twitter account to update my blog readers by text because I don’t like to travel with a computer when I am on vacation.  But then I quickly discovered two things:

1. If I am on vacation- I don’t often want to use a phone to update either…because Hello? Too busy having FUN (that is the whole point of a vacation right?)

2. Twitter is so much more than a tool to update friends, readers, or whom and whatever you update with it. Twitter is an amazing social networking site. I like twitter more than myspace because I find it more interactive with less blinkies.

When I started using twitter,  I floundered with it for a bit trying to decide if I really wanted to use it- and then I started getting followers (people who subscribe to see your tweets– updates in twitter are called tweets).  Some of them were people who’s updates (feeds) I was following, some of them found me using the search functions in Twitter or my FOLLOW me link on my website.  And now suddenly I have tons of followers many of whom are NASCAR fans just like me.  Let me tell you it’s not only a great way to meet like-minded people- but its a great way to get breaking news, updates on favorite websites, and even follow races when I don’t have access to anything else but Twitter.

On the Thursday before the Daytona 500-I was stuck at work during the Gatorade Duels before the 500.  While my workplace has a fairly lenient internet policy, it was just not possible in the environment I work in for me to sit there and tune into streaming video or even audio of the race.  I did follow the leaderboard on Foxsports.com (because for me- it seemed to update faster than nascar.com’s live leaderboard) so I could kinda keep dibs on what was going on- but even that lacks.  However, some of my twitter friends were either THERE at the duels updating twitter or watching it from wherever they happened to be. It was truely an amazing experience. While I would definitely rather watch the race with my own two eyes- twitter was there when that wasn’t possible and gave me a more complete picture of what was happening.

I also use twitter to follow updates on some of my favorite NASCAR websites.  NASCAR Insiders have a twitter account that announces new posts to their site, as well as other relavent tweets.  Stewart-Haas Fans has a twitter feed that announces newly posted articles and breaking news.   And there are some NASCAR journalists that Tweet good quality stuff like Matt Humphrey and Dustin Long.  There is even a NASCAR twitter group you can follow- where you can find everything that people have tagged as part of the #NASCAR group.  This is most definitely NOT a comprehensive list by any means.  Its just some of the ones I personally follow.


Right before I was getting ready to set a publish date on this entry I got contacted by a company representing TWACKLE, a site that lets you follow certain sports related twitter feeds. They do have a NASCAR feed.  And one driver feed (Robby Gordon).  You can even use Twackle to create a nascar feed widget for your website.  I have not personally tried twackle yet, frankly I just don’t have the time right now. However- it does look promising and you might want to give it a try.

Valentines Day was really no big deal. I did nothing special except I did sit down towards the end of the afternoon and watch a slug of SpeedTV catching up on Saturday’s NASCAR news.  While standing in the living room I heard what I thought was rain which I didn’t think was that odd since we were expecting a big storm later that day. I looked out and saw no rain but instead an inordinate amount of water running down the street in front of my brother’s house (we live on a corner of a T-shaped intersection and he lives on the top of the t part). I believe my exact words were “Where the hell is all that water coming from?” My father and I decided to take a walk to investigate it and the further up the street we went the more water we were encountering. We finally found out that a car four blocks away had hit a fire plug and they couldn’t find the shut-off valve for all the water.  Due to gravity the water was flooding down into our neighborhood.  What do I do? I grab my camera of course.


Saturday started with final Daytona 500 practice for Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas racing- and ended badly for the pair. Ryan Newman blew a tire- sending him up the banking and into the wall where he collected his teammate/owner Tony Stewart.  That was not the way one wanted to start their day.  However only hours later Tony Stewart stood in victory lane at the Nationwide race where he drove the Number 80 Hendrick car to victory.  Not a bad turn around in one day. However, Sunday would be the day where all eyes were on Stewart-Haas racing’s number 14 and 39 Chevrolet Impalas.

Watching this Daytona 500 was much like driving while blind deaf.  I did not have the advantage of having HOTPASS this year since DirecTV decided to drop the only sports package I cared about.  I really missed being able to tune into Tony’s in-car radio because it’s how I judge how he feels about the car and his progress during the race.  That way I am not relying on the race announcer’s view of what is going on- I can pretty much tell for myself.

Anyway- during this first race weekend for the newly Stewart-Haas racing, emotions had to run the complete gamet during the week.  The team went through three race cars before the race on Sunday- a feat I am pretty darn sure they were not pleased with.  Ryan Newman’s primary car was wrecked during the Gatorade Duel number 2 on Thursday when he was wrecked by David Reutimann- forcing Newman into his backup car.  Then during the final practice on Saturday, a tire blew and Newman collected teammate/owner Stewart.  Because of the late practice tangle, Stewart had to go to his backup car and Ryan Newman was forced to use Tony’s backup Shootout car, thus sending both cars to start at the back of the field for Sunday’s Great American race.

By lap 25 Stewart had driven his car from 37th to 14th.  After taking on gas and tires during the competition yellow, Stewart was in obvious high spirits as the broadcast switched over to his radio to catch him singing “Ole Ole Ole Ole” and then telling his crew chief Darian Grubb that he didn’t have anything else to do. Announcers later state that Tony believes he has the best handling car out there.  And during short runs on fresh tires Tony seems to be able to draft well and pass cars- charging towards the front. However it seemed to me that the longer the green flag run, Stewart’s car just didn’t seem to have the ability to cut through the field with the ease it did early in the runs.  Also a big kudos to the Team Office Depot pit crew who seemed to get Tony in and out of the pits quickly…Tony rarely, if ever, dropped position after a pitstop…he always seemed to gain a position or two.  I hate to say it but it seemed last year Tony would lose three -five positions during pitstops alone.

Meanwhile teammate Ryan Newman never seemed to really get a feel for the car under him. He was at a serious disadvantage- in a car that was not set up for him or for this race.  The US AMY team did a great job getting the car rewrapped and decal’ed up so that at least it looked like Ryan’s car and not Tony’s. However they did have a slight problem in the pits when Ryan came in for what he thought was a problem with the tire, the crew somehow dropped the car off the jack after the tire had been removed and then had to pick it back up to put the tire up – costing Newman valuable spots in the pits and on the track- a mistake that he was never able to overcome on the track.

At the end of the evening, however, Matt Kenseth ended up winning the rained-shortened Daytona 500 after having led just one green flag lap.  Tony Stewart finished 8th while teammate Ryan Newman finished 36th.

As for Stewart-Haas racing- I think they accomplished one of the bigger tasks on their to-do list for the start of the 2009 (their inaugural) season.  They came to Daytona extremely competitive.  I think good things are going to come out of this team in the very near future.

Other Notes on Daytona:

  • I heard from the national broadcast that Ryan Newman’s crew chief Tony Gibson even used Sharpie markers to cover over some of the last bits of red on the backup car. This I think deserves the race award for most innovative use of a sponsor product.
  • Best quote from the entire speedweeks session at Daytona? Comes from none other than Mr. Tony Stewart who was quoted as responding to the question if going to a backup car after the happy hour crash was a disadvantage to his ability to win the 500 with “I don’t know, Rocket Scientist-I’m sitting here with a backup car. What do you think?”
  • I am probably going to feel the wrath of Jr. Nation for saying this but I really think that frustration was a definite mitigating factor that lead to Junior’s on track skirmish with Brian Vicker’s that ended up taking out a lot of the key players in the race.  I think Junior might not have been thinking clearly because he was pissed about the penalty that he incurred at the previous pit stop.  Junior was held one lap for having the right front tire on the pitbox line which apparently is considered out of bounds.
  • I am also still questioning Joe Gibbs Racings decision to rush Logano into a full-time cup ride. I seriously don’t think he was ready. He seemed to be smacking that car against the wall everytime he went out there and that last incident with Scott Speed  Logano nosed the car into the wall pretty damn hard.  I said this last year and I will say it again…Logano might be too green to be out there with the cup guys on a weekly basis. I still say that Logano should have run a full season or two in the Nationwide series first to break in slowly to the Sprint cup series.

Next weekend NASCAR takes us to the Autoclub Speedway in Fontana California.

  • Ok- as a race fan I am going to make a confession to you. My friend and I discussed this during our respective lunch breaks on Thursday and we are both equally confused.  I do not understand HOW the field is set at Daytona.  I mean I understand that the first row is set on qualifying day. And some but not all Go-or-Go homers are locked in the field on time.  Then there are the Gatorade Duels.  Where the field is split in two 60 lap heat races. But from there I do not understand how the field is then set.  At least I am not the only one… Tony Stewart doesn’t understand either!
  • Speaking of Tony,  let’s talk about Stewart-Haas Racing for a minute.  I am just wondering if the people who thought they wouldn’t be competitive out of the box are eating crow right now? I could be biased since Tony is my driver but Stewart-Haas Racing seem pretty damn strong to me. Stewart did well in the Shootout.  Both Tony AND Ryan did well in on Pole day. Tony did awesome in the Duels. Ryan seemed pretty solid in his duel as well until take out by Ruet.
  • Email exchange with my friend regarding Ryan Newman’s crash during the second Duel:
    • Me: Do you think “Tony the Owner” will have a talk with Ryan Newman about getting pissed at Reutimann or will “Tony the Owner” understand because of his experience as “Tony the Driver”.  AND will “Tony the Owner” be pissed at Reutimann for wrecking “his” race car? All things to think about.
    • Her: Tony the Owner”  will prob manslap* Newman and buy him a beer- lol!
  • I may be a Tony fan but I was glad to see Jeff Gordon have a good finish.  And for the record? I like his new paint scheme this year.
  • Speaking of paint schemes. I have decided officially I like the Office Depot paint scheme better than the Old Spice paint scheme.
  • Raygan Swan’s Splash N Go article this week on NASCAR.COM earlier this week was a silly guide to fans.  I think she was trying to be tongue in cheek- however she tells fansLast, get your supplies. Umbrellas for the Fontana, Calif.” However I do not recommend this….if you are heading towards Fontana FYI- Umbrellas are not allowed at the track in Fontana (or in Vegas) unless they have changed the track rules from last season!

Dear DirecTV- AHHHH now you have really made me mad. After having hotpass for two years now- you decide to drop it? THAT REALLY SUCKS!  I greatly miss being able to hear what is going on in Tony’s car during the race. DAMN YOU!  I bet you still have the other sport packages! Why did NASCAR have to be cut? —Disgruntled, AMY  PS. Don’t try to tell me to get that NASCAR.COM thing where I can hear the audio…doesn’t work for me because I have dial up…AND my computer is not in the same room as my TV.

Dear QVC- You have angered me too!  How? Well first there is a big deal made about the FOR RACE FANS ONLY show that is starting off this season with Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart as guests. So I dvr it- and hear wonderful things about it.  I was really looking forward to getting some glimpses of the Stewart Haas Racing shop. I go to watch said DVR and end up with two hours of an electronics showcase. MAJOR FAIL, QVC! MAJOR!  Your in disgruntlement- AMY PS. Don’t try to make up for it by showing me all the cool diecasts of Tony’s that I can’t afford.


*-manslap is defined by my friend and I by that strong shoulder (or sometimes back) pat/slap that men give each other. Usually in a WAY TO GO kind of way. Not to be confused with the “good game” butt slap.

I volunteered to do the MI-5 this week: Many of you know- I am a NASCAR fan…and this weekend is the Daytona 500!!!  During any auto race- NASCAR including- flags of different colors are displayed along a track and mean different things.  This MI-5 is based on some of those flags but answers do not have to be race related at all….(I will omit the two most well known flags- the green and the checker).

1. The Black Flag- also known to some as the consultation flag- is waved at a driver for various reasons but means that the driver must pull into the pits. Most of the time the driver is called to the pits to  take care of extensive damage on the car or to take care of any penalties that may be incurred.  Tell us about a time you had to deal with a penalty of some sort or of a time you had to take a time out to fix something right away. Well there was the time I was caught speeding on federal land by the MPs.  That cost me like $90.00 or something to that effect- I don’t remember the exact amount.  And I didn’t have much time to send in the payment.  I was going 48 in a 35 on Lightfighter (that is the name of the street- honestly) and at the time my lunch was at 1:00 so I was leaving as most of the other staff were driving in from lunch so it was honestly kind of embarrassing.

2. The Yellow Flag is sometimes called the caution flag. When this flag waves it alerts a driver that there is something wrong on the track and they should slow down and fall in line behind the pace car.  Tell us about a time you slowed down your pace. Wednesday on my way home from work! It was raining SO hard it took me 15 minutes longer to get home because I had to drive like a grandma.  And for those keeping track my traction control did NOT come on once- so I think that I might have run through something slippery like sand when it kept activating the other day.

3. The Blue Flag with Orange Diagonal, known as the courtesy flag is the only “optional” flag in racing. This flag alerts a driver that he (or she) is holding up traffic- specifically the leaders- and that they should be courteous and move over to let the leaders continue to race.  While this flag is optional- officials and fellow racers will look down upon anyone who repeatedly ignores it. Tell us about an experience where you let someone take the lead even though you really wanted it or about a time someone gave you the lead in something.  Well honestly I am kinda odd when it comes to leading/following.  I do NOT like to be the leader of anything.  However I also do not like to fail at anything either.  So I will take the lead if I have too- but most of the time I am willing to work hard for someone else.  I can’t think of any experience besides those that came from group work in college. My college was BIG on the group work.  Most of the time I would take the lead for projects because I had to.

4. Red Flag means all activity on the track must come to a stop.  This is usually done because of poor weather  or a a lot emergency vehicles on the track. Drivers must line up according to position in the designated area (usually on track or in the pits), Crew members are not allowed to work on the cars during this time. Depending on the length or the red flag drivers are often allowed to get out of the car if parked on pit road. Tell us about a time when everything stopped for you.  Wow- This is actually a hard question! I hate when I ask myself the hard stuff.  The world kind of stopped for my family when my nephew was born.  It was such an exciting time. I was woken by a text message at 5:00 in the morning that they were in the hospital. I went to work. And it was sooo long. He didn’t come until 11:24 pm.  I was in the waiting room with my parents…and we got to go see him for a couple of minutes.  And now everytime he comes over the world stops for him. We stop everything to pay attention to him.

5. When the White Flag is thrown during a race,  it signals to all drivers that they are entering the last lap of the race.  What is something you are almost done with? I am almost done with a crocheting project. I don’t want to tell you exactly what it is yet…because someone who reads this might benefit from it.  But trust me…its cute and I am relieved its almost done.

And Friday Fill-in #111:

1. It seems like it will never stop raining.

2. Can I borrow that when you’re done, please?

3. If I thought you wanted to come with me I’d of invited you!

4. Gorgeous pictures is what I think of most when I think of you.

5. To me, Valentine’s Day means people get candy or flowers or both.

6. Friends gives me strength.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting out of work on top of things, tomorrow my plans include laundry and Sunday, I want to watch The Great American Race!

We talked advertising yesterday, so let’s talk merchandise today.  One of the big issues a fan like me will have when a driver switches teams (or becomes an owner/driver) is the need to suddenly replace all of your existing merchandise.  The Stewart-Haas racing switch is hard for me because merchandise is slow to come out which means my car is fairly naked (my 20 sticker in the window disappeared sometime last November and I am still using my 20 license plate frame because I haven’t gotten my 14 one yet).  I am however happily mousing on my new Tony Stewart mouse pad. (Yes I use a mouse pad because my desk at work is too shiny for the optical mouse and if I don’t use one my pointer dances all over my desktop).
Anyway…I have never been a collector of diecasts.  I have a couple of the (cheap) Winner’s Circle brand cars…because they are cheap and available at my favorite store (Target) right of the shelf.  However- I decided that since Tony was changing numbers/sponsors I would look into a diecast or two. Knowing that Tony has two primary sponsors, I figured I would find two different cars. The Office Depot Paint Scheme:
Office Depot Paint Scheme

And the Old Spice Paint Scheme:

Old Spice Paint Scheme

However- there already is a 14 with a Smoke paint scheme:

Smoke Paint Scheme

And a 14 with the Burger King paint scheme (Tony will be sponsored by Burger King for two races):

Burger King 14 paint scheme

Yeah…and Daytona hasn’t even happened yet. This is the exact reason WHY I do not collect diecasts. Already there are 4 different paint schemes and countless others in the work. These high quality ones can run anywhere from 69.99 to 89.99 a piece and that my friends is an obsession I just can NOT afford- bad economy or good.

I decided against one of the big dough diecasts only because I couldn’t decide. Part of me wants one of the traditional paint schemes while another part of me screams very loudly that the Smoke Paint Sheme is REALLY COOL while a third part of me thinks that since the Burger King paint scheme is only going to be used for two races that would be the one to get. Too many choices makes my head spin around and start to smoke (no pun intended) so to simplify it for myself I said “Self you really can’t justify that much on a toy car that will just sit on a shelf.”  My “self” is no fun and won’t let me collect diecasts.