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:
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.
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.
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.
Hey NASCAR Fans- did you know that Farmer’s Insurance Racing is giving you a chance to win $35,000 towards a new Chevy at HendrickCars.com? Well it is true!
How do you enter? Easy! Just visit the Farmers Racing page on Facebook and select a key. You will automatically be entered into the grand prize drawing! If the engine starts with the key it means you win an instant prize – a $25 or $50 certificate good towards Kasey Kahne gear at the NASCAR.com Superstore. There are FIVE instant prize handed out each DAY. You can enter once a day, every day! The more you play, the better your chances of winning.
Even if you don’t win one of the five instant win prizes everyone is a winner. Just by entering you will be unlocking never-before-seen videos of Kasey in true Farmers humor. There are a total of 6 consolation videos and they alone are reason enough to play along!! Once you unlock the videos you can share them via social media with all your friends.
Don’t just take my word for it though- watch this promotional video featuring none other than Kasey Kahne himself:
You have until November 15th to enter- so enter TODAY and enter daily.
I thought the race in New Hampshire was a snooze fest on TV. I don’t know if it was that way in person or not. Denny Hamlin lead a majority of the laps…a HUGE HONKIN’ majority – and by quite a large lead. Basically no one could catch him. Unfortunately when a race is dominated so greatly like that I tend to find them a tad boring.
Tony qualified 3rd! A stellar effort. I was THRILLED. WhooHoo! He lead thirty somthing (38 sticks in my head but I am not sure) laps. Thrilled. He fell back a little having to shove the break down when someone came across his nose during pit stops- but he still came out third. Still thrilled. The race went down hill from there. They were chasing the car handling and Tony fell further and further back. He even dropped out of the top 10 a couple times. He was always able to get back into the top ten but still…they were NOT the car they were at the beginning of the race. Tony was disappointed- and voiced his dissatisfaction on the radio after the race telling the team “Disappointed guys- all the way around.” Don’t worry Tony- I was disappointed too.
Tony was able to actually finish the race 7th. This caused him to drop down to 4th in the Sprint Cup Championship standings.
- All of the cautions at New Hampshire were for debris- except for the competition caution at lap 40. Those don’t help for the excitement level that is for certain. Sometimes races are boring. I am sure that happens with other sports too. Sometimes there is just a dude.
- I decided to try out RACE BUDDY for the first time ever today during the race…while watching the National Broadcast. I decided not to do that again. Race Buddy was actually about a lap behind the TV and was driving me bonkers so I turned off my laptop and used DirecTV Hotpass instead. But I do think it would be great to use if I wasn’t able to watch the race- like say…during a rain- postponed race at work or something.
- Last season- there was a large contingent of Tony Stewart fans (before the 2011 Chase that is) who wanted Stewart’s then crew chief Darian Grubb replaced. I know this because I was often subscribed to their FaceBook groups (come on Facebook- make it so that people can ASK you to join not just auto join you into their groups). They got their wish despite the fact that Tony won the 2011 Championship. I often wonder if they regret getting their wish?
- A special thanks to Glenn Bure for providing our pictures from the race at New Hampshire!
Next week: DOVER!
My Favorite shot of Glenn’s from New Hampshire:
Here is the nearly weekly reading list- with a Tony Stewart video excerpt from InsideNASCAR. Enjoy.
Tony Stewart Carries Clout, Swagger Like Dale Earnhardt Did- Nate Ryan USA Today
NASCAR Reinstates AJ Allmendinger- David Newton ESPN
NASCAR New Hampshire: Tony Stewart Just Looking To Continue Progress With Solid Run- Bob Pockrass Sporting News
Family Matters Get Awkward When It Comes To Business- Amanda Vincent Auto Racing Daily
Stewart Keeps Owner Issues Off Track- Dave Caraviello NASCAR.COM
Denny Hamlin Seems Focused, Relaxed Now- Larry McReynolds FoxSports
Overheard: What Fans Say To Tony Stewart At An Autograph Session- Jeff Gluck SBNation
Gratuitious Tony Stewart Video:
Tony Stewart and the 14 team made a great effort at the race in Chicago. The qualifying went not so good again- which Tony qualifying 28th. However, he was able to bring the car up the field in dramatic fashion twice. Tony was knocking on the door of the top ten (He was 11ths). Tony was brought down pit road for 4 tires and fuel- when in the middle of the pit stop crew chief Steve Addington called an audible thus changing the stop to a two tire stop and sending Tony back out into the field under caution. Tony was then forced to come back after feeling a vibration and the team changed the other two tires- then sending Stewart to be the back of the lead lap- ironically in position he started in: 28th.
He worked his way through the field AGAIN though and was able to break into the top ten this time. Addington and Tony even kept the car out awhile during one round of pit stops just to get a bonus point for leading a lap. Tony ended up finishing the race 6th and is currently 3rd in the championship standings 8 point behind race winner and current points leader Brad Keselowski.
NOTES About Chicagoland:
- The first race of the Chase (NASCAR’s Playoffs) and the scary thing is the big news for Tony Stewart fans is the Tushy Grab Seen Around The World? My Facebook feed this morning is filled with Tony’s good luck grab. I can’t believe it even made cnn. Serious Stewart fans know that this is his pre-race ritual.
- Fascinated to read in an article that when Tony Stewart won the Chicago race last year he left Chicago with 2047 points. This season he came in sixth and leaves Chicago with 2048 points – thanks no doubt to the seeding bonus his 3 wins got him (the article here- the part about the points is at the bottom)
- I usually love Tony’s helmets- but I wasn’t a big fan of the one he ran at Chicago this last weekend. (see picture tweeted by Stewart-Haas Racing here). Although I did like the spark plug with wings.
- HotPass needs to reconsider their audio. They only play SOME of the driver audio- I want to hear EVERYTHING! There were times I know that Tony’s spotter at Chicago HAD to be talking to him- yet hot pass wasn’t playing the audio at all. Grr.
- What? Say it isn’t so but sounds like Jeff Gordon shaved the infamous stache!
Next race: Chase Race 2: New Hampshire
As a Tony Stewart fan, I went into the 2011 Sprint Cup chase extremely pessimistic. After all, Tony Stewart went into the chase saying he thought the team was wasting a chase berth with the way they had been performing. Of course we all know what happened; Tony Stewart went on a tear- won FIVE of the ten Chase races (something that had NEVER been done before) including the season closer at Homestead-Miami, thus winning the Chase by TIEBREAKER. It was both exhilarating and stressful to be a Tony Stewart fan towards the end of the 2011 chase. I was AT the Phoenix race and spent most of the race perched on the patio of the media center- watching the race through my fingers. I don’t even remember much about the Homestead race- except that I was so stoked that I promised my family that if Tony won the championship I would treat them to dinner at the Outback. Guess you all know what I had for dinner that night. What made the chase so great last year- especially during Homestead was that it was so CLOSE- and to win it Tony Stewart HAD TO WIN THE RACE- a second place wouldn’t cut it.
This year however, I feel EXCITEMENT going into the chase because this year NASCAR’s Chase for the 2012 Sprint Series Cup could be brought home by ANY of the 12 drivers. I personally do not count ANYONE out. Sure Tony’s the reigning champion and I would LOVE to see him become a FOUR time champion. Denny Hamlin goes in to the Chase seeded first and his crew chief Darian Grubb no doubt feels he has a point to prove. But I can’t count out Jimmie Johnson- he’s won five and is looking hard for 6. With FOUR of the 12 cars being Hendrick Motorsports cars that means mathematically (and I am NOT good at math people) there is a 1/3 chance that winner could be a Hendrick car- and Junior has been looking strong and CONSISTENT all season. And Jeff Gordon has been driving like a maniac (in a good way) these last few races. And Kasey’s had some bad luck but pretty much had that first Wild Card spot in the bag in Richmond. Kenseth no doubt would like to leave the 17 team with a Championship before jumping over to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. Harvick is tenacious and they didn’t give him the nickname THE CLOSER for anything. Then we have dark horses like Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer who have also been RIGHT there all season long. And I would NEVER ever ever count out Brad Keselowski. In my mind- right before we go into the first race of the Chase it is ANYONE’s trophy right now.
As a NASCAR fan, the fact that it is anyone’s championship right now is EXCITING. Of course I still want Tony Stewart to win it!
Who do YOU think will win it all?