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Remember back when I told you that I would be giving you reminders about the different contests that are all part of Walmart’s Fan Driven 400 contest? Well – it is now time for PART 2- helping decide the name of the race!  Fans submitted their ideas for names on the Walmart Fan Driven Facebook page- those entries have now been narrowed down to three possible names for the 400 mile race in Pocono:

  1. Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  2. Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  3. Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

Be sure to exercise your right to VOTE right now!   You are able to vote once a day, every day until April 8!  So head on over to the Walmart Fan Driven Facebook Page and help choose the name of the Pocono 400.

Also don’t forget that you can purchase tickets for the Fan Driven 400 race on June 9 for ONLY $25!  That’s a GREAT deal!  You better hurry though, there will only be 16,000 of these specially priced tickets. There are also TRACK PACK deals available for 16 other races that include a family pack of tickets- making NASCAR affordable fun for the whole family!!  Tickets can be purchased at Walmart.com/NASCAR (for the Fan Driven 400 and/or Track Pack offers)  or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com/ (For Fan Driven 400 tickets only).

Yesterday I reviewed Jamie Little and Danielle McCormick’s Essential Car Care For Women- a book about the importance of appropriate car care for women by women.  Today I am so excited to bring you an interview with the authors!!!  Remember if you are in the Las Vegas Area March 8th and 9th you can meet Jamie and Danielle (see paragraph below interview for time and locations!)

Now onto the interview:
BG: How did you end up meeting and what made you decide to come up with this book?

Danielle – A few years ago I blew a head gasket on my car and decided it was time to learn how to maintain my car properly! I went to a book store to buy a book that was written for girls like me which just told me what I needed to know about owning and running a car. I was shocked when after extensive research the book store attendant told me that there wasn’t one! I thought there must be other girls like me out there and it was a really fun project to educate myself and write one. And I was right – as soon as it launched, it became a best seller in my native Ireland and went onto enjoy similar success in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  It was an amazing fun adventure and I ended up getting a blog with Discovery and features on some of their shows.

I moved to Silicon Valley a few years ago to work for a start-up and my publishers suggested that while I was in the states, I should launch an American version of my book. I wanted to team up with a local writer and came across Jamie Little. As soon as I read about her – I knew that she was ‘the one’. I am a big skier and not only does she report on NASCAR, but she also covers the X-Games. I am super jealous of her job. I approached her and she has just been great and has added additional sections to the book to make it more relevant to US readers.

BG: As a female who travels in cars long distances usually alone (often between California’s central coast and Las Vegas) I admit that the thought of car trouble makes me nervous. And while I love my car and do keep it in as good of condition I can I was wondering what in your mind is the single most important thing I should do maintenance wise?  

Jamie -  I too have been driving through the desert from Las Vegas to California, and back, for years.  As a matter of fact, one of the many reasons I wanted to do this book with Danielle is because of something that happened to me on that long stretch of desert highway when I was 20 years old.  It was about 6 am and I’m driving to a motocross race (cutting my chops to one day be a reporter), I was moving along at about 70 mph, inside lane, when BOOOM! my right front tire exploded.  Yes, I had a cell phone. No, I didn’t have AAA or even know how to change a tire.  I had to stop in the middle of nowhere and wait over two hours for a tow truck to come put my spare on and show me to the nearest tire store (45 miles away).  So, to answer your question, to me, the single most important thing to maintain on your car is your tires.  Check your tread every six months and check your air pressure every month!  A blown tire at speed can take a life.  Take it seriously.  I was lucky in my situation. (more…)

I am sure it doesn’t surprise any of you that I am bound for Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400 and to hang out with Misty!  I have some posts scheduled to post while I am gone- but figure posting will be light especially Friday- Monday.

Be sure to follow myself (@badgroove) and Misty (@fyrstorm24) on Twitter to hear all about our adventures on and off the track!

Here are a couple things you should consider doing while we are gone:

Enter Here for a chance to have your mortgage paid for a month by Quicken Loans Racing. Ryan Newman does have to  #BringItHome in the top 10 but don’t take the chance and not enter- you can’t win if you don’t and who couldn’t use a month break from your mortgage?

Enter here for a chance to win the all new 2014 Chevy Silverado LTZ truck, A NASCAR race weekend for two at Texas Motor Speedway AND a meeting and greet with Tony Stewart!

And here is Tony’s Bass Pro Shops Commercial…just because I think it’s funny:

Until then- see you all on the flip side :-) (aka next week).

(Going to the Las Vegas Race? Check out the bottom of this post on how you can meet author and Las Vegan Jamie Little on March 8th or March 9th)

I was recently contacted and offered a complimentary copy of a new book called Essential Car Care For Women by Jamie Little (yes- that Jamie Little- ESPN NASCAR reporter) and Danielle McCormick (Discovery Channel’s Turbo Expert) for reading and possibly reviewing here on Bad Groove.  I jumped on it because I am pretty sure most of my readers (I know not all- Kevin and James) are women judging by the ones who leave the occasional comment. I was intrigued by a book about cars written by women for women.

As a woman and a car owner I was interested to see what the book had to offer. I am NOT a car expert by any stretch of the imagination- I know just enough about cars and their internal workings to be slightly dangerous and sometimes sound like I know what I am talking about.  I owe that to watching a lot of NASCAR honestly. Needless to say as soon as I got the book I sat down and dug right in.

I have to say the book is well thought out, well presented and I will even go so far as to say that I think that every woman who drives a vehicle should not just read this book but probably keep a copy in their glove box.  This advice is actually in the book itself and I admit I initially scoffed at it but that was before I sat down and read through the book.

Essential Car Care For Women starts off by giving a primer on how an engine works. It’s written in plain language that is easy to understand without being dumbed down. It then continues in the same easy to understand language to the rest of the major components of your car- what they are, how they look and how they work together to make your car function including brakes and suspension.  It doesn’t overwhelm the reader with information or get too technical. It even includes pictures, diagrams and illustrations that help readers familiarize themselves with the parts and how they work.  There are also chapters on common car lingo (like what is a horsepower? Or what does it mean if my car is 2.4 Liter?), and one on common services that should be done on your car.  Essential Car Care For Women even gives solid advice on how to pick a mechanic, how to buy and sell a car, and what to do in case of an accident.  There is even chapters on how to change a tire (complete with illustrations) and another all about driving in the snow. I could have used this several years ago – as when driving to Vegas one January evening I got caught in snow.  Probably not a big deal to some of you (it was light and I didn’t end up needing chains)  but I was FREAKED out because where I live in California- it just doesn’t snow.

While I highly recommend this book- if you consider yourself a gearhead or change your own head gasket (don’t know what that is? Then read this book!) then this book might not be for you. However- I think a majority of women (and some men) would get SOMETHING out of reading this book!

IF YOU ARE IN VEGAS THIS WEEKEND YOU CAN MEET THE AUTHORS JAMIE LITTLE AND DANIELLE MCCORMICK:

There is a book/autograph signing March 8th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at The Cannery Hotel and Casino located at 2121 E. Craig Road in North Las Vegas.

There is also a Book Launch Party on March 9th, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm at Pole Position Indoor Karting located on 4175 South Arville in Las Vegas!

Hello Las Vegas Smoke Fans!  I have good news!  I have heard of two Tony Stewart appearances in the Las Vegas area that I want to share with you:

1. Tony Stewart will be appearing Wednesday March 6th 2013 at the Bass Pro Shop in Las Vegas with fellow Bass Pro driver Ty Dillon at 1:00 Pm.  The Bass Pro Shop is located next to the Silverton hotel and Casino right off the 15.  I don’t know if wristbands are needed but I would assume they are and arrive early.*

2. On Saturday March 9th, 2013 Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick will be signing autographs at the MGM Grand for Coca-Cola Racing at 7:00 PM.  Wristbands ARE required and will be given away at noon on Saturday at the MGM Grand.  There are only 50 wristbands available for this event- I would expect them to go quickly so you may want to get there early. When they did a similar event for Jamie McMurray a couple of years ago they were stationed in the main lobby- so I would start there.

*Sorry about my lack of knowledge about the Bass Pro Event- the PR company for Office Depot racing use to forward me his appearances in advance of races - I do not get that information from Bass Pro or Mobil or any of his other sponsors- so if I find any info out I try to pass on what I know.

It’s always hard for me to watch races at Phoenix on the TV because I LOVE that track- it is one of my favorites that I have been to in person.  It makes it all the harder that the first Phoenix race is so early in the schedule because I haven’t been to a race track since last November (which coincidentally was Phoenix) and I miss just being at a track. I miss the smells and the noise and the colors and the hustle and bustle of the tracks so watching the first Phoenix race of the season is akin to torture for me.

Why, if I love Phoenix so much, did I not go to the race?  Well regular readers might have heard this before- but it has to do with it being back-to-back with the Vegas race (which I absolutely will not miss if for no other reason than that was my VERY FIRST NASCAR RACE) and also being so close to the Auto Club date as well.  Plus Misty and I both have real 8-5 Monday-Friday kind of jobs (and we work in way different fields in different states) so that going to 3 races in one month is impractical if not impossible.  So Phoenix gets put off until the fall race. I am SO GLAD it has a fall race because otherwise it would be hard to have to narrow which track to miss.

My caption for this picture: Is that a rather large spoiler on your rear deck lid or are you just happy to see me? – Amy.  [Tony Stewart on track at Phoenix Raceway (Photo Credit: Andrew Coppley/CIA Stock Photography, Inc.) Photo borrowed from the Tony Stewart Facebook page- click picture to be taken to original.]

Anyway- the Subway Fit Fresh 500k (312 laps/miles) was not so good for the Stewart-Haas drivers! Yikes!  First poor Ryan Newman couldn’t catch a break! First he suffers not only one but two blown tires- the last one putting a premature end to his race. Then Danica also suffers a blown tire and ends up not only hitting a wall but then getting hit by another car and ending her day.

Thankfully, Tony Stewart didn’t seem to have any tire issues- but don’t think I wasn’t worried that he would…especially as the runs got longer.  Tony started the race in sixth place and it seemed like where he was in the field depended on how many tires he took. For a long time after his four tire stops he would end up mired back in traffic in 18th, 20th position somewhere.  I know he was frustrated too because I heard him say on his radio that he didn’t understand how the were slower when they were on 4 tires than with 2.  He would eventually start working his way up towards the front towards the end of the runs though or so it seemed to me.  Luckily he ended up in or near the top 10 before the last top which ended up being two tires.  Tony ended up finished 8th and moving up to 23rd in the points standings.

Notes About Phoenix:

1. I don’t know if you noticed but when Ryan blew a tire and wrecked the second time- he decided to walk to the infield care center instead of ride in the safety vehicle. Tony must have seen him at some point walking on the track because he asked on his radio “Is he mad or is he just getting out of the way?” I thought it was funny. I think he was frustrated- but not at someone else like Tony may have thought.

2. I don’t have NASCAR.COM’s RaceView to watch the races with. I was actually considering getting it since DirecTV ditched their Hot Pass stations (Boo directv boo!) but I have heard from a couple people that they have been having major issues with it. Is anyone else having trouble? Because I don’t know if I want it if it’s going to be more of a frustration than anything else. (For those wondering- I have Sprint and use the NASCAR13 Sprint mobile ap for the scanner).

3. Am I the only one who can’t find the simple things on the new NASCAR.COM- like race lineups, qualifying orders and the like?  I have been trying to keep an open mind about their new layout (I tend to be one of those anti-change people) but when I can’t find the information I am looking for easily- I get frustrated on give up.

I am going to leave you with this picture from Phoenix Raceway because it seems to me that every time I see Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon together- Jeff is usually CRACKING up big time and that makes ME crack up:

Tony Stewart (right) and Jeff Gordon (left) share a laugh in the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway.

Next race; VEGAS BABY!

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.