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I try to think of some witty title for each race post and I admit it isn’t always the easiest of tasks.  This time I did NOT come up with it myself: I totally credit my TwitterPeep @darksider14 with coming up with TallaKansas!  So Kansas was a complete wreck fest on Sunday with a new track record of 14 cautions, the previous track record being set the day before at the Nationwide Series race on Saturday with 12.

(Photo Credit: Borrowed Without Asking From The Official Tony Stewart Website- click on photo to be taken to original)

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So awhile back I posted my worries about the state of sponsorship of the Stewart-Haas Racing teams- specifically my driver (Tony Stewart).  Then a day or two later Stewart-Haas tweeted that they had a sponsorship announcement to make. I was so excited only to then be slightly disappointed when I found out the sponsorship announcement was for Ryan Newman’s team.  Nothing against Ryan Newman or Quicken Loans Racing- I think it is awesome that they upped the number of races they sponsor. It does say a LOT for both Ryan Newman AND Stewart-Haas Racing as an organization that after ONE year of sponsorship that they would be willing to sponsor not just the same amount of races- but MORE! But still the disappointment and looming dread of knowing that my driver Tony Stewart was still missing a MAJOR primary co-sponsor was panic inducing. The only thing I found solace in, frankly, was that there were rumors about Bass Pro Shops moving to the 14 car next season. (more…)

I don’t know if it was just me or what but that race in Charlotte seemed to be the LONGEST race of the season. It just seemed to be the race that would NOT quit.  I find that it’s especially trying to watch race when my driver’s car gets damaged in the first 20 laps of the race.  On lap 16 Tony Stewart damaged the nose of the 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet when cars in front of him checked up during the second restart of the race, causing him to effectively rear end another car (Brad Keselowski I think?) at high speeds. The results were not pretty: (more…)

Hey Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman fans- both drivers will be signing autographs at the Office Depot located at 8501 N. Evanston Ave in Kansas City Missouri at 5:05 pm local time on Thursday October 18th.  You must have a wristband for the event. Wristbands will be given away on a first come, first serve basis starting at 8:00 am local time on the day of the event at the N. Evanston Office Depot location. Remember you are allowed one autograph per driver/ per wristband.

In addition to the autograph appearance- Tony and Ryan will participate in another Ask Tony and Ryan Live Q&A that will be streamed online (6:20 Local time – which is 7:20 ET and 4:20 PT) for those not able to attend.  These are always great fun- so if you can’t attend and stay for the Q&A- I highly suggest that you try to tune in (they also usually release the video of the Q&A a day or two later- I will post a link to it when I see it posted).  To watch the Q&A stream live check out Office Depot Racing’s Ask Tony page.

 

Talladega.  It ALWAYS makes me nervous.  The pre-race show did NOTHING to quell my nerves about Dega either.  There is always talk about “The Big One” looming- and endless (or so it seems) loops of stock cars flying at unnatural angles into fences (Carl Edwards) and upside down (Ryan Newman).  So the fact that there is always the chance that there is going to be a big, NASTY wreck at some point looming in the back of my mind. As a matter of fact- I had been watching parts of Race Day on Speed before the race (when I say this I mean it was on in one room as I went about my morning chores so I caught snippets here and there) and I just happen to catch Tony Stewart talking to Rutledge Wood. He (Tony not Rutledge) said something that I wanted to talk about here- because I disagreed with it, but I can’t find the interview online and because of the end of race carnage my thought about Tony’s Rutledge interview flew out of my head because the only thing I could think of is “I don’t like seeing the undercarriage of a stock car…anyone’s race car really- but especially not my driver’s undercarriage” and pretty much that is all I can really bring from the race now.  Well that and I don’t care who’s fault Tony says it is- I watched it several times and I still blame Michael Waltrip/Casey Mears.

Not  A Pleasant Sight:

Tony's Undercarriage

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, flips in the air after an incident with the field in the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 7, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

In my opinion the race was typical restictor plate racing: boring except for the last 10 laps or so and then you worry about all hell breaking loose, which it obviously did.  After all the last lap melee that took out several cars, NASCAR determined that Tony finished 22nd. Which dropped him down to 7th in the points. Technically we aren’t OUT of the Championship fight…but it’s not looking promising.

NOTES ABOUT DEGA:

  1. Jamie McMurray led the most laps. What surprised me was that he didn’t cause the big one. He seemed like a moving chicane out there going from groove to groove and then back again. I believe it was Jeff Gordon who called him a moving Chicane out there.
  2. I don’t know what was going on with DirecTV yesterday. None of my hotpass channels worked AT ALL- they said searching for signal (771). Then in the middle of the race it lost ESPN all together and put up a message about it being an issue with the sun. I would have been more incline to believe the Sun nonsense if other channels had been affected but other channels seem to be fine (well except for the hot pass channels). Maybe the Sun just doesn’t like my NASCAR.

Not sure WHAT is going on here but it’s kind of a humorous picture. What do you think is going on? (Shared from TonyStewart.com- click the picture to be taken to the original).

I am going to be perfectly honest….I didn’t watch the Dover race.  I have never really been a fan of Dover, but it’s never stopped my before.  Misty was in town for the weekend as our high school reunion was the day before and I wanted to get in as much BFF time as I could before I had to drop her off at the airport to fly home.  I did DVR Dover- with every intention of going back and watching it.  But the suspense of not knowing how Tony was doing killed me and I ended up texting someone (Thanks KEVIN!) because the SHR Twitter account wasn’t telling me in a timely manner where Tony came in. So I have nothing constructive to say about the race…or deconstructive. However thanks to Glenn Bure I do have some great Tony Stewart pictures from Dover to share with you:

Tony In Dover

This one fascinates me because there is a little bit of a techno geek in me. Tony using a tablet in the garage during practice. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

14 crew works on Tony's Car

The 14 crew hard at work on Tony’s car during practice at Dover! (photo credit: Glenn Bure)

Peek A Boo Tony tat

Tony in garage in Dover during practice. I like this one because I can see Tony’s tattoo peeking out and I admit- the tat makes me curious. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Tony getting ready to practice

Here we have Tony getting ready to practice at Dover. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Tony's Cartoonish Helmet

I love this one! Glenn must know I am a sucker for helmet shots- I love this picture- it’s a great view of Tony in his “cartoon” (my name for it) helmet. Tony getting ready to practice in Dover. It makes me wonder how many helmets a driver goes through in a season. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Ok- I am a sucker for books. Rarely can I walk into a bookstore and not come out with a book or four.   So if you were to combine books,  with say my hobby of photography and my love of racing- you would have a must buy for me.  So was the case when I heard about a book put together by Jimmie Johnson, his wife Chandra Johnson and photographer Missy McLamb.  The minute I heard about the book and that it was a limited run- I found myself at JimmieJohnson.com ordering me up a copy. I couldn’t take a chance of there not being any left by the time I got to Phoenix in November.

For those unfamiliar with the book- it is a coffee table book of photographs detailing the entire 10 week Chase for Jimmie’s sixth championship in a row last season (you know the one that Tony Stewart ended up winning).  Missy McLamb followed the Johnson family the entire 10 weeks of the chase documenting and preserving the high highs and low lows of the race season both from the professional areas of the track as well as the private areas of the Johnson’s life.  I forget the incredible amount of pictures that were taken during the 10 weeks- Jimmie mentioned it in a Facebook post he made announcing the book- I want to say it was something like 15,000 pictures- quite a feat I think when I found that many of the photos were NOT shot with a digital camera (for the non-photography folks reading- film and other format cameras (except for digital) require more time to set up and take the shot- not to mention you usually only have 12-36 shots per roll of film depending the kind you are shooting).

The book is smallish in size- measuring 9 and 1/4 inches square. I admit- I was slightly worried that the quality of the book itself might lack when I heard that Chandra and Jimmie were basically having it printed themselves and marketing it themselves.  I had nothing to worry about- the book is well made and well put together. The photos are a fascinating combination of at track photos- everything from Jimmie doing media or sitting in his car to the crew and car going through inspection to personal photos of Jimmie, Chandra and daughter Evie in their motorcoach or at home.  The photographs in the book range from both color to black and white, crystal clear to artistically blurry. Most of the photos just stand for themselves in the book- however some of them have little one line descriptions of what they are.  The stand out picture in the book to me- is the photo of Jimmie, Chandra and Evie in the motocoach watching coverage of the Dan Wheldon crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There is just something about that photo that catches the shock and emotion of the horrifying moment in motorsports history.

If you are a Jimmie Johnson fan? This book is a must. If you are a photography buff? This book is a must.  If you are a NASCAR fan- this book is a must- as it documents the end of a historical run of 5 consective NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships.

If you happen to live in the Charlotte, NC area or will be in the area between October 13th-20th you may wish to stop by the Hart Wizten Gallery- which will be displaying some of the photos featured in the book.  For more information (location of gallery, hours, etc) visit the On The Road Studio web page.

It is important to note that this book was NOT provided to me to review- I purchased it myself to add to my collection 0f NASCAR coffee table books.

Anyone who knows me knows I have always been a bit of a worrier.  I have been this way since I was a child. So you can imagine that when I found out that Office Depot would not be renewing it’s primary co-sponsor status on Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Chevy- panic and dread immediately set in.  That means in 2013 the 3 car stable at Stewart-Haas racing currently has TWO of its THREE cars unfunding for the season.  Ryan Newman, who was already underfunded, lost ARMY as a sponsor for 2013 and now Tony Stewart has lost Office Depot. And I honestly don’t know if GoDaddy is Danica’s full-time sponsor next season, if they have other primary co-sponsors already lined up for her, or if Stewart-Hass Racing has 3 partially funded cars.  Damn this economy. Hello worry, thy name is sponsorship.

Tony Stewart before the race at New Hampshire last weekend. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

I immediately began listing any and all companies that I thought would be good sponsors. Heck even Misty joined in with me and we batted around possible sponsors for Tony and it soon became a game.  I would receive texts and emails of just names of companies.  I became fairly ruthless in my imaginary quest for sponorship- by “stealing” sponsors from other teams.  I believe at one point I even joked that if I were independently wealthy I would sponsor a race or two (or more- depending just how weathly my independence was). It was admittedly silly but fueled by the very REAL fear that the sponsorship hole will not be filled by Daytona.

All silliness aside- losing a sponsor is NOT GOOD (obviously). It is becoming increasingly rare to find a cup car with a single primary sponsorship.  Even drivers associated with the sport for years like four time Cup champion Jeff Gordon has had to find additional sponsors in recent years (The AARP’s Drive To End Hunger, Pepsi, National Guard) to fill sponsorship gaps. The number 20- is now sponsored by Home Depot and Dollar General (and Game Stop).   Even NASCAR’s perpetual favorite driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr has not only multiple primary sponsors but Diet Mountain Dew has reduced the number of races that they will sponsor next year.

Of course it’s all related to the retched state of the economy.  Yet it would be the perfect time for new companies to look into sponsoring NASCAR teams.  Hotel chains, food companies, stores. What better way to reach 100,000s of fans face-to-face (and many many more on TV) than by sponsoring a NASCAR cup car. Hint hint.

Meanwhile- I personally will mourn the loss of Office Depot.  I LOVE office supplies- I have a serious love of writing implements and post-it notes, an all paper products in general. Office Depot was a sponsor I could relate to personally.  I am definitely sad to see them leave the #14 car sponsorship.  Office Depot as a sponsor was good for the fans- often hosting autograph sessions and show car events.  I can definitely say they were good to us here at BadGroove. They made sure we got to interview Tony Stewart multiple times ( Interview 1, Interview 2, Interview 3, Interview 4).  Which really helped bring BadGroove to the next level (so I think anyway).  I can only hope that whomever does sponsor Tony’s car in their place- is as good to fans (AND BLOGGERS) as Office Depot was.

Tony Stewart autographs a tire before the race at New Hampshire last weekend. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

It is being RUMORED that Bass Pro Shops may be moving over to the #14 car to take over the spots left open by Office Depot’s departure.  If that is the case all I can think of is YEY!  I actually LOVE Bass Pro Shops.  I don’t live in an area with one but I go to the one in Vegas nearly every time I am in town (I have a very outdoorsy brother and father to shop for birthdays, Christmas, and Father’s day for. Not to mention three nephews). It wouldn’t surprise me since Bass Pro already has a relationship with Tony Stewart- sponsoring several of his dirt endeavors.  If the Bass Pro sponsorship turns out to be true- I can only hope that they announce it soon- so that I can stop worrying about the state of sponsorship for Tony’s car (Phoenix would be a GREAT place to announce it – since I will be at the race and all).  I mean Tony Stewart is a THREE TIME cup champion and the CURRENT cup champion for goodness sakes.   I do hope that whomever sponsor’s Tony is as fan (& BLOGGER) friendly as Office Depot was.