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(Photo source: Mobil 1 Facebook Page/ HHP)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 18th

Finished: 26th

Points: Vickers is 25th in points

Like most Tony Stewart fans, I was most excited during the Daytona pre-race and race when we got to hear from Tony Stewart of course.  Here is a video of his call into the pre-race show: (more…)

Brian Vickers doing media for the 14 team. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter)

Here has what’s been pinging around my brain like loose lugnuts in a pit box during a green flag pit stop (have your missed these posts? I sure have).

1. So am I the only one who things that the dual races called the Can Am Duels should be called the Dual Duels? I think that would be awesome.  Of course I have a think for alliterations so it might just be me. The Duels are tonight and remember that Harvick and Vickers will be starting from the rear of their respective duel because of the track bar issues post qualifying.  GO VICKERS! GO TEAM 14. I hate that the duels are so early in the day because I have to follow on line from work. I hope that all SHR cars get through their duel unscathed and with a good starting position for the 500 (fingers crossed). I still wish they would just let Brian run all the races until Tony gets back so we have some continuity.

2. Kevin Harvick will be pitted by a back-up jack man as his normal jack man Mike Casto recovers from surgery.  Long time Tony fans may remember Mike from when he pitted on the 14 team not so long ago.  Get well soon Mike. (more…)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Unlimited

The season opening race of the Sprint Unlimited was a bit of a disappointment for Stewart-Haas Racing and especially for the 14 car as piloted by Brian Vickers during the race.  Brian Vickers seemed to be doing well- hovering for most of the race around 10th, sometimes higher sometimes lower as happens during restrictor plate races. He may not have been driving last season, but he was doing just fine piloting the 14 car on Saturday night in Daytona. For awhile he was even up to 4th position and was always right in the thick of the battle. He even had one heck of a save after getting a little too loose and slightly touching another car something that would cause many drivers to go ping ponging off of other drivers.  Unfortunately for several cars though, on Lap 22 of the 75 lap season opener, the 14 car cut a right rear tire sending Vickers into another car and then careering up into the wall and then back down into the infield.  He ended up severely wounding team mate Kevin Harvick’s car and opening up the side of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s car like a can of tuna. Despite the hard lick that had everyone holding their breath for a bit- Brian Vickers and all other drivers involved in the multi-car accident were alright after being evaluated at the infield care center.  Brian has been having so much fun all weekend and seems to be really appreciating the opportunity just to be in Tony’s car. I actually am more impressed with him so far than I thought I would be.  Come on Brian Vickers and Team 14 for the 500! (more…)

There seems to be some confusion over some of the new rules when it comes to the charters and who get’s starting positions and how that all works. Plus I have also heard mumbling of people who don’t seem to understand how NASCAR’s new “Overtime” rule changes the previous GWC rule.  Here is an overview of some of the new stuff to the best of my understanding: (more…)

Brian Vickers talks to Fox Sports about replacing Tony in Daytona (Photo Source: Stewart-Haas Racing Official Twitter Account)

So I got to work this morning totally intent on watching the Stewart-Haas Racing presser from Daytona.  I mean the information has been pretty much leaked by media throughout the week that Brian Vickers would be driving Tony Stewart’s 14 car during Speedweeks.  But then just as I was settling into my office with the NASCAR PressPass playing in the background on my computer, I got distracted from the presser by Tony Stewart on Periscope. As a matter of fact, I missed the first part of Tony’s periscope because when they transferred stuff to my new phone at Sprint something happened and my Periscope lost it’s connection to my twitter account so I had to figure out how to get them both synced back up.

That said- all things considering Tony looked and sounded good as he walked on the treadmill and chatted with his fans on periscope today.  Sounds like right now his doctors want him doing one of two things: Walking on the treadmill or lying flat on his back (not uncommon from what I know of back injuries- my dad’s suffered from three separate ones including two surgeries).  He mentioned getting a Tens unit to help with the pain/spasms but he hasn’t tried it yet. He also said this will still be his last year in NASCAR for those who were hoping he would delay his retirement (I didn’t think he would- he has already signed Bowyer so they have the 4 car field they need).    Speaking of the injury he shared that he has two rods and six screws in his back in addition to the hardware he still carries in his leg. He is hoping it will ALL be removed at the end of the year in one go.  Seriously though- Tony looked good and was walking quite well on his treadmill so GO TONY! And he hopes that he gets invited back to the dunes because he was having a blast until he got hurt.

As mentioned- Brian Vickers has indeed been announced as Tony’s replacement driver but so far only for Daytona speedweeks. That was what was confirmed via the press conference.

(more…)

I am just going to put this right here for right now:

I had it made back when Tony broke his leg- in the picture it’s actually even on a car I don’t even own anymore in the above picture. Unfortunately it looks like I threw the apropos license plate frame away after he was back in the car following the leg injury. Don’t worry- I just ordered another one and will have it on the Equinox as soon as I get it.

In case you didn’t know Tony broke his L1 vertebra in a sand rail accident last weekend. Here is the most recent official announcement from Stewart-Haas Racing about the incident:

As I have told several people now- I am just genuinely glad that he didn’t actually injure himself worse- when I hear back injury I think scary things like paralysis. A back is nothing to mess around with.

Here is a great article by Dustin Long about it: Question and Answers About Tony Stewart’s Situation

While sure we are all disappointed because no one wanted Smoke to start off his final NASCAR season like this, I can imagine that Tony is disappointed too. I heard him during the media they did last week- he was wanting that Daytona 500, That Southern 500 and the Championship.  You know how you can be hard on yourself? He likely is being quite hard on himself. I am just glad he’s not injured worse than he is and I am actually glad they aren’t giving out a time table on his recovery.  I am every optimistic that it will be a quick one, but it needs to be on his body’s terms.  I am cheering for him to make a good steady healing recovery and hope to see him in the car as soon has he is able.

______________________

#GetWellSmoke #SmokeAlwaysRises

Media Day (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

How about a pre-season Loose Lugnuts to get the juices flowing. This seemed to be one of my most popular weekly features last year so I will definitely be bringing it back this season. Especially since it was also one of my favorites to write.  So how about we go over some of the things that have been rolling around my brain like lugnuts rolling around a drawer in a pitbox (you know since they aren’t flying around pitstalls quite yet): (more…)

Tap, tap, is this thing on?

Hi. Remember me?

I know I have been unusually quiet this off season here on BadGroove.  Honestly I needed a blogging break. I just took a bit longer one than I had meant to take.  I could blame it on my laptop and it wouldn’t be a complete lie- my laptop is not the most reliable beast as of late.

But that isn’t the reason I didn’t come back after Champion’s week right away.  I can’t explain it completely but part of it was that I was still trying to digest Tony’s retirement announcement. After witnessing all the Jeff Gordon love at Homestead Miami in Florida and then again at Champion’s Week, and then there was of course Jeff’s very emotional banquet speech.  I was left introspective to the point of introversion. What would this season be like for us Tony fans? What kind of season would he have? Would he make the chase? Would he be at champions week? And what about BadGroove? Is there a BadGroove without a Tony Stewart in NASCAR?

What if, what if, what if,  my brain was chocked full of what ifs and all those questions pinging around in my brain and all that thinking made my fingers very very quiet.  Then work got busy as heck and the next thing I know it’s the preseason media week and I am too busy at the job that pays all the bills for this little website to even think about paying attention as it happened.

What brought me back to center? A simple picture posted by NASCAR on Instagram:

Tony Stewart as posted by NASCAR on Instagram

This one little instagrammed photo says it all to me: He’s focused. He’s back. For one last season (in NASCAR). It’s almost go time. And I am ready. Kind of.