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It’s taken me a week to post about the Nationwide race last weekend.  Let me preface this by making it perfectly clear- I actually did not watch the race live. I had been following it along via twitter until I found out that there was a pretty signifigant last lap crash and that there was an engine in the stands! I immediately stopped what I was doing and got to the nearest television to turn on the race.  The first thing I saw was the engine sitting on the wrong side of the safer barrier and all I could thing was CRAP THAT IS NOT GOOD. I saw replays of the crash and was amazed that the drivers walked away- and hoped and prayed that none of the fans were killed.  It didn’t even really register to me that Tony Stewart won the race- until they finally showed his “subdued victory lane interview.” You could tell that Tony didn’t care about winning- he was worried about what happened to the fans.

After his victory lane- Tony went to talk to the NATIONWIDE director Joe Balash.  I found some pictures of Tony and Joe Balash- and it was these pictures that really made me want to actually do this post.  You can tell Tony is concerned by the whole accident by the look on his face in this picture:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #33 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet, and NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash looks at the debris of the #32 Clorox Chevrolet, driven by Kyle Larson, following an incident at the finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Source: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

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Hey Tony Stewart fans!  Guess what? The first 25 people through the doors of their local Bass Pro Shop this Saturday February 23rd, 2013 will receive an officially licensed, limited edition 1:24 scale Action Racing Collectibles Tony Stewart 2013 Pass Pro Shops #14 Chevrolet SS!!! So head out to your local Bass Pro Shop to show your support of their new driver Tony Stewart and get a FREE Diecast (no purchase necessary)!

Also- on Sunday February 25th, 2013 if you are one of the first 50 people through the door you will get a limited edition “Evolution of the Stock Car” NASCAR Poster.

Please note that these offers are only good in stores and not available online.

 

The NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race just finished and all I can do is liken it to a frustrating appetizer. Why is it frustrating you ask? Because to me watching the Unlimited is like eating a delicious yet commercial-ridden appetizer only to have to wait a week for the main dinner course (the salad course will be the Bud Duels that are happening on Thursday while I am at WORK! URGH!).  This year the format of the (too short) non-points paying race was voted on by fans (yes I voted too). The fans chose a race that was segmented into  30 laps,  25 laps and 20 laps respectively.  They also (wisely) chose a 4 tire pit stop after segment 1 and for no driver eliminations (don’t worry though- there were only 12 drivers left by segment three anyway and only 10 of them were really in any sort of contention for the win- with two cars being cut off from the main pack).  They also could choose the fire suit that Miss Sprint Cup wore in victory lane.  I think it is fun that NASCAR does things like that to encourage fan participation- especially on non-points races.

Personally I was anxious for the Unlimited because except for a couple laps of pre-season testing and practice- I hadn’t really seen much of the Gen 6 cars on track at all.  Seeing the cars on track- I am liking how easy it is to tell the manufacturers apart with these cars.  And one thing that I was kind of iffy on when I heard about it- the names on the top of the windshields? LOVE it- I find it very aesthetically pleasing.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona Speedway. (Source: Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)

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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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