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Here is this week’s list of recommended NASCAR reads that I liked and thought you might enjoy:

Nationwide’s Eric McClure, his family, starting over a year after tornado- Dustin Long for Sports Illustrated

Kevin Harvick Gives Update on Josh Jones, Better Known As Twitters @Mother_Function- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Tony Stewart Wins Denny Hamlin’s Charity Race- Hank Kurz, Jr For AP/YahooNews!

Paul Menard Crewman Goes After Hendrick Team Member After Pit Road Incident- Bob Pockrass for Sporting News

Stewart Not Happy With NASCAR, Pit Crew at Richmond- Jon Gunn for Sporting News

Hendrick Motorsports Still Searching For Elusive 200th Win- Dustin Long for Athlon Sports.

Scott Speed Interview (12 Questions)- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

The Daly Planet: Day Two: The TV Bait And Switch- The Daly Planet Editor

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Tony Stewart at Richmond- (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Facebook Page- click picture to be taken to original)

So at work the other day I was putting in a vacation request for NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions Week in LV. When I put in any sort of leave- it automatically emails my boss (whom for the purpose of this post I shall refer to as Bossman) so he can approve it if need be.  It’s an easy process that basically has me choosing things from a series of pull down menus then typing in a description of the absence. In the description box I put: “Champions Week LV” (nothing mentioning NASCAR specifically).  When checking my work after I had submitted it- I realized that I had made a mistake when selecting absence type and put it on the calendar as sick leave instead of vacation leave- so I immediately went back in to fix my mistake. After I fixed it I checked my email and saw that Bossman had forwarded me the original absence request email and all it said from him was “Um, sick?”

I had to smile because obviously I had made a mistake and he caught it. I emailed him back and said I fixed it and his next email cracked me up: “cough, nascar, cough, not feeling well, cough Tony Stewart”

Bossman, of course, was kidding with me since I had already fixed my mistake in our absence recording system…but it also says a lot that he figured it was NASCAR related (as most of my vacations are) and remembered who my favorite driver is (his office is not in the same building as mine so it would be easy for him not to know).

2011 NASCAR Champions Week Las Vegas Photo Collage (All Photos Credit: Amy Marbach)

Even Bossman knows NASCAR is a sickness!

Wow…what a bizarre race Richmond ended up being!  I guess the three major issues ended up being clashing crew members in the pits (between Menard and Johnson who were pitted side-by-side), Carl being black flagged for jumping the restart, and that last debris caution. And I have opinions on ALL of it of course. The problem is where to start.

So Tony didn’t have such a great qualifying effort and started the race from 22nd position.  Despite what Tony said about the pit crew issues during the race? I think having a crappy pit box may have been part of his pit road issues. Not that there weren’t other issues- I am sure there were. But the crappy pit box that comes with a mediocre qualifying run can damper your race on/off of pit road.  However, I think it speaks volumes about the car and the team (and of course our smokin’ driver Tony) that the car seemed to be able to slowly work up the field despite the pit road issues- whatever they may have been.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, makes a pitstop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

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A Softer Side Of Smoke- Charlie Leffler for The Mechanicsville Local

Kyle Petty Not Concerned About Direction Of Victory Junction Gang Camp After Removal of Wife Patti- Bob Pockrass for Sporting News

Jimmie Johnson Repeats As ‘America’s Most Influential Athlete”- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

NASCAR Needs More Wrecks and Here’s How It Can Do It- Jeff Owens for SportingNews.com

Birds Of A Feather- Joe Menzer for NASCAR.com

12 Questions with Martin Truex Jr- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:

The expression says it all:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands in the garage are during practice for the NASACAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images North America)

Tony Stewart changing a fan's oil in Texas. (Photo Credit: Mobil 1 Facebook Page)

I just wanted to point out some Tony Stewart related contests and raffles that are going on right now:

Contests

Fish Like A Winner (aka Chevy Outdoors): Winner gets a brand new Chevy Silverado pickup, a trip to a FLW fishing event AND a trip to fish with Tony Stewart at his place. Must enter by August 31st, 2012.

Race To Charlotte (from Office Depot Racing): Winner gets two tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on May 27th, $750 for travel expenses,$50 Office Depot gift card, and an autographed 1:24 #14 Office Depot Chevy Diecast Car. Must enter by May 3rd 2012.

Raffles (all benefit The Tony Stewart Foundation).

The Customize Your Chevy Sweepstakes- you win the Chevy of your choice (including options) up to $50,000 (including a stipend to help pay for taxes). Price of ticket: $100.00 (Maximum number of tickets to be sold: 3000). Drawing on October 1st, 2012

2012 Brickyard Package- you win Four (4) tickets to a fully catered Indianapolis Motor Speedway Suite for Friday (July 27), Saturday (July 28) and Sunday (July 29); Two (2) Infield Parking Passes for each day – Friday (July 27), Saturday (July 28) and Sunday (July 29); Hotel accommodations at the Indianapolis Omni Severin – four (4) nights from Thursday (July 26) through Sunday (July 29) with checkout on Monday, July 30; From the IMS Suite, credentials will be available (shared among all suite guests) to explore the IMS Garage Area (must be 18 years of age or older); and Official IMS-logo hat, polo shirt & t-shirt combined with Official Tony Stewart #14 hat – none of the items are autographed. Transportation is NOT included in the Grand Prize Package. Price of Raffle ticket: (1 for $25, 2 for $40,  3 for $50) (Maximum number of tickets to be sold: 2100) Drawing on July 2nd, 2012.

 

First thing I wanted to share about the Kansas race is this picture of Richard Petty (and driver Aric Almirola) being honored by STP at Kansas Speedway since I wrote about the event here:

STP donates $43,000 to Victory Junction to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with “The King” at Kansas Speedway on Friday, April 20. STP Senior Brand Manager, Jamie Kistner (right), presents the $43,000 check to Richard Petty (center), Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 STP Ford Fusion (second from right), and Victory Junction Camper Ambassadors (Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photo)

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Short and sweet this week…just like me (ok…I am short but not usually sweet).

Time and Place (One Week Later Jimmie Johnson Is Still Not Pleased With Ryan Newman)-  David Caraviello for NASCAR.com

Kyle Busch Interview: A Closer At Joe Gibbs Racing’s Rowdy Driver- Jeff Gluck for SBNation

Carl Edwards Responds To Memior- Terry Blount for ESPN

SBNation Video: MSNBC Anchor Thinks NASCAR Cars Go 500 MPH- by Jeff Gluck for SBNation

Your gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks directly to Nascar Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart during a visit by the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to the White House on April 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama hosted the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart to honor his championship season. (Photo Credit: Ned Dishman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Richard Petty, simply known as The King to most NASCAR fans, will be honored at the STP 400 this weekend at Kansas Speedway.  This year is the 40th anniversary of the partnership between STP and Richard Petty.  The number 43 car will be running the iconic paint scheme this weekend.

To honor the King will be honored will be by a $43,000 donation to The Victory Junction Gang Camp by STP’s parent company Armored AutoGroup.  As many fans know- The Victory Junction Gang Camp was created in honor of Richard Petty’s grandson, Adam Petty who died in a racing accident.  I have talked about Victory Junction lots- it’s a wonderful children’s summer camp that serves more than 2,500 campers each year, between the ages of six and16 years old with 24 chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses, in Randleman, NC for a week of non-stop, full-throttle fun.

After the race in Kansas,STP in conjunction with Victory Junction and Richard Petty Motorsports, will auction
off Aric Almirola’s race-worn firesuit signed by both Almirola and Petty. The car Aric will be driving will bear the classic Petty Blue/STP Red paint scheme that Richard made famous.  All proceeds from this one-of-a-kind firesuit will benefit Victory Junction. Fans can visit http://myworld.ebay.com/victoryjunction to bid on the firesuit – a one of a kind item that will be a great addition to the collection of any race fan.
next week.

Also, in honor of Richard Petty, STP is providing race-day tickets to Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth service members, allowing them to take in all the racing action this weekend at Kansas Speedway as a thank you for their service!

Also watch for a new commerical campaign staring none other than Richard Petty himself.  Entitled Left Lane Club, the STP campaign will start this weekend on FOX and will also air throughout the summer.  So keep an eye open for that. And congratulations Richard Petty and STP on 40 years!