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If you are a NASCAR fan you know that NASCAR strives to be extremely fan friendly using social media- well that goes for sponsors too! What am I talking about? Walmart is putting you, the NASCAR fan, in control of the June 9th Pocono 400.  Walmart wants NASCAR fans to help them NAME THE RACE! How cool is that? But it doesn’t stop there! Not only do you get to help NAME A RACE (the Pocono 400) but you also get to help choose a signature concession and a pace car design for the race!  You the NASCAR Fan are in control of the Fan Driven 400!

And it all starts NOW!

First step? Submit your name for the Pocono 400 race!  Walmart wants YOU to name the June 9th 400 miles race at Pocono! So put your thinking caps on and submit your idea using the My Local Walmart/Fan Driven ap on Facebook.  You only have until February 25th to submit your idea- that is only 10 days people so get to submitting!

Then starting March 11th (don’t worry I will be back to remind you) go back to the My Local Walmart/Fan Driven Facebook page to find out the three names that it was narrowed down to and VOTE on your favorite!!  In April you can vote on one of three types of pierogies to be the featured concession at the race.  Then in May can vote for one of three pace car designs for the to-be-named race at Pocono.  It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure race (am I the only one who liked those choose your own adventure books?) where your votes will decide!

Just to thank NASCAR Fans- Walmart is going to offer 16,000 Concourse grandstand tickets to the June 9th race for $25 each! That is a steal!  Tickets are on sale now through Pocono Raceway or through Walmart.Com/NASCAR. Also- there will be $99 Family Track Pack (that’s 4 tickets, 4 sodas and 4 hotdogs for $99) offers for many of the races (Las Vegas, Fontana, Darlington, Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Daytona (July race), New Hampshire, Pocono (August race), Watkins Glen, Atlanta and Homestead)…the Family Track Packs can also be purchased at walmart.com/nascar!

So don’t forget to go to the My Local Walmart/Fan Driven Facebook ap and enter YOUR idea for the the name of the race! I will be posting in the future to remind you of the other deadlines!

Am I the only one starting to get antsy for the beginning of the NASCAR season? I can’t be the only one who hears a revving engine and is like…MAN when does NASCAR start- NOT SOON ENOUGH that is when! But our “long off season” – which isn’t actually so long in the grand scheme of other sports – is coming to an end sooner than you can shake a broken transmission at (PSA: do NOT attempt to shake a broken transmission- those things look quite heavy).

The Sprint Unlimited is just a little more than week away (Feb 16th) – this race takes the place of what use to be called The Bud Shootout and then just The Shootout.  Then the Bud Duels (formally the Gatorade Duels) are Thursday Feb 21st (URG I have to work and they are in the middle of the dang day! WHY NASCAR WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME SO?). Then of course, the DAYTONA 500 is on the 24th. So it’s all happening and soon!  I CAN’T WAIT!  Sorry for the excessive caplock usage- but when I get excited I have no other way to let you know that to YELL it in my post.

Can you say (or tweet) #GoTonyGo? (more…)

Sitting in my office last Thursday, I was more fidgety than normal. Why? Just knowing the cup cars were testing at Daytona International Speedway had me aflutter.  I didn’t think to DVR the test, which made me more than a little cranky because from the moment I stood onstage looking at the Team SS Cup Car at it’s debut in Vegas I have been wanting to see the car in action.  The fact that the cars were on track signaled to my brain that Daytona is coming, Daytona is coming and it was all I could do not to run up and down the hall like Paul Revere proclaiming it to all who would listen.  I didn’t because I cherish the job that pays me and makes it possible for me to eat and live and go to races.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet, leads Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Chevrolet, off of pit road during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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So- I hope that everyone had a great ending to 2012. I was toying with the ea of doing one more Champions Week 2012 post but thought I would just envelop it into a general 2012 wrap up post so we can move on to 2013!

Wrapping up Champions Week:

So here are all my 2012 Champions Week Posts in one list:

  1. 2012 Champions Week: Fan Fest (with pictures)
  2. 2012 Champions Week: The 2013 Chevy Cup Car Revealed (Finally! With Pictures!)
  3. 2012 Champions Week: The Victory Lap (with Pictures)!
  4. 2012 Champions Week: NASCAR After The Lap (with VIDEO of Tony Stewart doing pushups!)

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NASCAR’s After The Lap is a great event that is loved by fans (including us).  It is also one of the FEW events of 2012 Champion’s Week festivities that require a ticket- the event moved this year from the Joint at the Hard Rock to PH LIVE at Planet Hollywood.  If you remember last year, we had an issue where we bought our tickets the moment the went onsale- only to get an email from Ticketmaster later finding out that our original seats were sold to us in error and we ended up being relocated. Well I no longer think that was a TicketMaster issue any more.  Especially after what happened this time.

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Misty and I have attended every Champions Week since it moved to Vegas and we usually stand at the same spot for the victory lap on the Strip by where the cars do their burnouts. It’s a great spot and we have gotten some great pictures of the cars burning out over the years.  The bad part of this is that we end up standing out there for hours so our spot doesn’t get squatted by someone else and soon we are packed in our favorite area like live sardines in a can. Much like the red carpet at fan fest, chaos ensues. Last year I ended up getting hit in the back of the head by some guy’s lens hood on his camera- multiple times.  This year, though, we decided to try something a little different and hang out by the start/finish line (in front of Planet Hollywood). It was a completely different vibe and it was fun to change things up this year.

This is a beloved event and the fans line the strip for hours in advance of their favorite drivers:

Fans gather on one of several pedestrian bridges hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers during the Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd (The Vegas Strip) (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

The start/finish line area of the Victory lap is much more like being around a driver introduction stage at an actual race: (more…)

This was the one event during Champions Week this year I was REALLY looking forward to.  I can’t even explain why- except that you all know that I am a fan of Chevy drivers, I drive a Chevy myself, my father drives a Chevy, I have a love of the Camaro, well I guess I am just a Chevy girl.  So I was REALLY looking forward to this.  I had no idea what to expect. I have been to one other car reveal in my life and that was for the Ferrari FF when I attended Ferrari Days out at Mazda Raceway At Laguna Seca (see A NASCAR Girl In A Ferrari World) a couple years ago.  When I saw that as one of the possible events on the calendar for Champions Week- I signed us right up!

Up until the reveal the only sight I caught of the 2013 Chevy SS Cup car that I had seen was on the Internet in it’s camo paint:

Tony Stewart drives the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet during NASCAR testing at Phoenix International Raceway on October 23, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (October 22, 2012 – Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America).

The “camo” paint does a good job of hiding body features…so I think. I was really looking forward to the reveal where I could see the new body style up close and personal- and I was hoping it wouldn’t have the weird camo paint scheme.

The Chevy reveal was our first activity in a Thursday CHUCKED full of stuff to do.  We got to the Wynn early and walked around until they opened the doors and then checked in and found seats (IN THE SECOND ROW) and waited excitedly. I was attempting to live tweet the reveal but neither Misty nor myself got ANY phone reception at all in the theater and very little in the Wynn in general. I think I was able to get this picture out and then nothing:

My Tweet Said: Waiting for the 2013 Chevy SS Sprint Cup Reveal (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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Fan fest for the 2012 Champions Week festivities in Las Vegas was held at the Fremont Street Experience for the second year.  Personally- I liked it better when it was held at the track because there was just something magical about being at LVMS when it’s quiet.  But then again, I am probably biased because LVMS is where I saw my first ever NASCAR race…it was at LVMS that I turned my already BFF into a NASCAR fan…and it was at LVMS that BG was first granted media credentials – so I have a special place in my heart for LVMS.    I guess that they figure that having at the Fremont Street Experience is easier for fans to get to (since the track is WAY OUT THERE)…plus I think the track has a festival of lights set up as many do during the holiday season.

Anyway-  several of the cup cars were on  display and a red carpet that the drivers would walk down to get to the stage where they would be playing  this year’s game show: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?  The red carpet walk that the drivers take is an experience let me tell you.  People start claiming their spots HOURS before the drivers are scheduled to appear and then other tourists, who are there for non-NASCAR reasons will stroll by and ask what is going on and then upon hearing that they are waiting for NASCAR drivers to walk by in like three hours they give the fans a look like WOW really? You are standing here because a race car driver is going to walk by in like THREE HOURS? It’s kind of funny to judge their reaction- most give looks like the fans are seriously insane.  I don’t know what is more insane…standing around the carpet or walking around in public dressed as a storm trooper and Darth Vader (we seriously saw these characters walking around the red carpet interaction with tourists. Last year it was SpongeBob SquarePants. I don’t think they are official characters- just random people dressed up as them and then trying to make a few extra dollars posing with tourists.

So this year it seemed the red carpet was even MORE chaotic than last year. The drivers were kind of bunched together more than last year so that pretty much everyone was just screaming for their favorite driver’s attention but the actual chances of getting your signature seemed more difficult. I am not sure if the drivers also signed stuff on the way FROM the stage because we left a little early.

Here are some pictures from the event: (more…)