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Okay- the square pupils in this picture freak me out a tad...

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart poses for a stylized portrait during the 2014 NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Getty Images North America)

“When things are tough, the pressure and the burden is more on you knowing that you’re responsible for everything versus just being the guy driving the car. It’s hard, but it’s also what makes it more gratifying when things go right, and that’s what we’re getting to enjoy right now.”Tony Stewart, Spring Richmond 2014 Pre-Race Release.

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Congratulations to Matt Bowling the winner of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown this year!

Denny’s race supports his foundation’s efforts to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis…which is awesome. Approximately 50 entries battled it out at South Boston Speedway and much like Tony’s Prelude to the Dream some big name drivers were entered including Kyle Busch who was sponsored by Arnette Eyewear and Jegs for the race. Kyle was even sporting the Arnette High Beams at the track!  Kyle has won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown four times- and this time he came in fourth.  Denny Hamlin came in 8th. But the real winner was Denny’s Foundation and the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at Children’s Hospital of Richmond.

(Sorry for the delay in the race report- my laptop’s processor decided to die on me so I am having to update this at work during my break and lunches. I suppose I could use my Kindle- but I find typing on it awkward- like I am trying to text on a giant phone with tiny hands or something. My new laptop should be here around Friday- thank goodness.  Wish me luck figuring out Windows 8).

The 14 crew hard at work at The Lady In Black

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I really wanted to Tony to win this race- Darlington is one of two tracks that Tony hasn’t won at- so I REALLY wanted him to win at it (the other is Kentucky- if you are wondering). Of course technically I want Tony Stewart to win every race. I am competitive like that and live vicariously through my driver. Unfortunately it was not to be. He qualified 23rd- definitely could have been worse- but it also definitely could have been better.  I chalked it up to a bad couple of qual runs and hoped race day would be better.

Chad Johnston and Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, speaks with his crew chief Chad Johnston during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

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Tony Stewart During Driver Intros at the 2013 Southern 500

Tony Stewart During Driver Intros at the 2013 Southern 500 (photo credit: Tonystewart.com)

 

“As much as we know about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I think people underestimate how much we know about Darlington and the history of that track, and how hard it is to win races there. I guess that’s why a Sprint Cup win at Darlington is something that’s really important to me.” Tony Stewart- when asked if open-wheel drivers respect the history of Darlington in the SHR Pre-Race release.

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

FORT WORTH, TX -APRIL 4: Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, alongside NASCAR VP of Green Innovation Michael Lynch and ExxonMobil motorsports technical adviser Roger Hood at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images for ExxonMobil)

In keeping with NASCAR’s efforts to “go green” NASCAR will, with the help of ExxonMobil, begin to convert it’s fleet and service vehicles as well as it’s generators over to Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy and Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30.  Fleet cars, transporters and even the famed Air Titan, protector of the NASCAR Universe, will be using Mobil 1 (that’s 65 fleet vehicles and 16 generators).

Global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil, Artis Brown, explained “our line of advanced lubricating oils and greases can help increase equipment operating efficiency and engine fuel economy, and help contribute to reduced energy and resource use, lower emissions, and cost savings for industrial equipment and machinery, as well as passenger and commercial vehicle engines.”

As we fans know- Mobil 1 in one of Tony Stewart’s Primary Co-Sponsors, so he was on hand at the press conference at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday.  “After working with ExxonMobil lubricant engineers for three seasons, I’ve seen first-hand how well they know the value of engine oils to fuel economy—whether it’s for me on the track or for consumers driving to and from the track. Since Stewart-Haas Racing and Mobil 1 began our relationship, the entire SHR team has seen improved fuel mileage, resulting in our drivers being able to go longer between pit stops,” owner/driver Tony Stewart explained.

Some pictures from the event: (more…)

Tony Stewart Wins The Duck Commander 500 Pole

Tony Stewart Wins The Duck Commander 500 Pole (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

What do I have in common with Tony Stewart? That is easy- I also drove 500 miles on Monday.  Of course his drive took far less time than mine did, but in my favor- Tony didn’t get to take potty breaks. I was an hour and a half into my drive when the Duck Commander 500 started and well- lets just say I still had about two and a half hours left in my drive when it ended. (more…)

Tony Stewart at Texas Motor Speedway for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Facebook page)

 

The more comfortable I am, the faster we go.– The undeviating yet always loquacious Mr. Tony Stewart, Duck Commander 500 Pre-Race Team Release

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#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

2011 Sprint Cup Winner Tony Stewart

2011 Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart with the Sprint Cup. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

This year marks a year of great change in NASCAR and for fans trying to navigate these changes. The first change is a new qualifying procedure that has multiple cars on the track at any given time- deemed “Knockout Qualifying.” Next the whole 2014 Chase format has been changed (think of the NASCAR Chase as being a championship playoffs if you are new to NASCAR).  Instead of 12 drivers (what it has been in seasons past)- the Chase has been expanded to 16 spots- where drivers are subsequently knocked out of the chase in three three-race rounds- eventually narrowing the field to four cars for the final race in Homestead-Miami. That right there seems like a lot of change right?

But what seems to be causing a lot of the confusion right now is HOW a driver qualifies for that Chase. Somehow- the idea that if a driver wins a race in the “regular season” (defined as the first 26 POINTS PAYING races of the NASCAR season) that driver is qualified for the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Series Cup.  This has been mentioned by national media on TV as well as by drivers.  Because of all the confusion, I decided to go back to the original NASCAR release announcing the new Chase format (which also address exactly HOW a driver qualifies for that chase) and read over it several times.

Let me answer some questions as I understand the new rules: (more…)