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Darlington, March 2014. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

The lugnuts have been rolling around a little more than normal on this pit stop.  Here you go:

1. If you are looking for my post on Tony Stewart announcing his retirement- it is located here. It was pretty much one of those “knee jerk” posts and after I wrote it I published it then nearly yanked it down – but Misty told me I should keep it up since it’s honest.  I have more to write about Tony Stewart himself- but I have a year to do that right? So I am letting that ruminate in the old brain bucket for a while longer. I will say I am thankful he is giving us fans a year to digest it.

2. Here are some articles about Tony that I have enjoyed recently: ESPN- Tony Stewart’s Brief Indy Car Career Still Stands Out, USA Today- NASCAR Will Lose Star Power When Tony Stewart Walks Away, National Speed Sport - Interview With Ralph Shaheen.

3. I have been considering taking in submissions from fans to post here about Tony Stewart- why you are a fan, what made you stay a fan, etc.  Anything fans would be willing to share about being a fan of Stewart.  If you are interested in submitting something of this nature to Badgroove.com for possible publication feel free to email me (badgruv@netzero.com) or Facebook message me.  I would publish them throughout the year- so it’s definitely something you could take your time with – if you are interested just let me know.


You had to know I would write about this right?—AMY

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

It rained on my drive into work this morning. I don’t know that you could call it a light rain as the drops were big, fat thick drops that didn’t just land on my windshield but announced each of their arrivals with a wet thud.  I guess you would call it a brief shower.  So brief that our dry, drought-ridden soil wouldn’t even look wet and the roads wouldn’t get slick.  It was just enough to turn a normal drive wistful as I carried on into work because I don’t like rain in general.  But then- the more I thought about how hard up the entire state is for water I was a tad okay with it and even wished for more of it since we really need it.

I mentioned this in my last post on the subject, that retirement for Tony Stewart was going to come sooner or later (I had hoped later) as it almost always does with everyone- driver, technology support services user services specialist (yes I know it’s a mouthful and technically it’s only half my title), librarian, teacher, chief compliance officer, what ever you do.  I absolutely stand by my words that I am not ready for a NASCAR without Tony Stewart as a driver and I am not. Still. But watching Tony’s press conference announcing his retirement has left me with the realization that while yes I am sad…I am sad for me. Not for Tony Stewart.

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/ Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

It started off when Tony mentioned that first off while he was retiring from driving a NASCAR Sprint cup- he wasn’t retiring as an owner nor would he never be stepping into a race car again.  It started to solidify when one of the members of the press started to go over his legacy stats, and totally solidified for me when he said that he has won more championships as an owner than as a driver. Tony’s press conference left me with the realization that while the hard core Tony Stewart fan is sad, I can’t help but the both happy and grateful.

Yes happy. Why? Because Tony is stepping out of the drivers seat on his own terms and taking time to do things he’s put on the back burner. He seemed happy during the press conference, and dare I say even a little excited about taking this next step.  I can’t help but support that and be happy for him.  He stated that this was 100% his decision and the past several years (the broken leg and tragic accident) didn’t make the decision for him.  This was something I fretted about.  I am happy because to take a comment a Facebook friend of mine made on one of his own posts and make it my own- it’s not like the Tony Train is going to pull into Homestead at the end of next season and just stop. It’s just heading on a different track.

I am grateful because he is giving us fans one more year as a Sprint Cup (or whatever the series will be called next year) driver and he states that he is putting himself all in during that year.  That is 36 more points paying races he is giving us fans and I for one am grateful for every single one of them. So grateful that I have already applied for tickets to a race I have never been to without even knowing exactly when that race will be.

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America

I don’t know about you all, but I plan to spend the next 44 NASCAR points races (and the three non points races) cheering my guts out for Tony.  It sounds to me like he is “hellbent on victory” to quote one of his shirts and so am I.  All I can say is consider yourself warned because if you thought I should have come with a warning label before-  you ain’t seen nothing yet.

So yeah- it rained a little today. And while I don’t like rain. That Rain? Is a good thing.

PS. I disagreed with one thing Tony said during the press conference. He DOES deserve accolades similar to Jeff Gordon next year. He might not want them- but he has earned them.


I would like to encourage all of my Smoke fans to not just thank Tony Stewart for what he’s meant to you as fans- but to take part on the StandWithSmoke.com Tony Stewart Foundation campaign to show Tony on twitter that we love and support and STAND with him in ALL aspects. It’s really easy to do:

1. Donate at least $1.00 to StandWithSmoke.com (if you donate at least $10.00- your donation is doubled by an anonymous donor up to a total donation of $50,000 – which means the foundation would get $100,00).

2. Print out your #StandWithSmoke sign (the link will be in your email receipt).

3. Post a picture or video (or both) of you with your sign on the Tony Stewart Foundation FaceBook page or on twitter with the hashtag #StandWithSmoke and tag @14TSF.

September 27, 2015: during the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Speedway, in Loudon, NH . (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Tony Qualified: 27th

Tony Finished: 11th!!!

Points: 563 (25th in points standings)

So, qualifying this week wasn’t the best. Tony Stewart didn’t make it past the first round, thus ended up starting the race at New Hampshire 27th, sadly making him the lowest qualifier among the four Stewart-Haas drivers.  After I found out how qualifying went, I told myself Tony doesn’t usually qualify well.  I blamed the fact of it on the fact that the teams were running the original 2015 aero package. All that pep talking to myself (just to clarify I wasn’t really talking to myself- this was all internal in my head) didn’t really lift my hopes up for the race.  I should learn not to trust myself when it comes to these things- because I would say that this ended up being the best race that they have had in awhile. (more…)

Want to show our driver Tony Stewart you #StandWithSmoke? That’s easy to do with the Tony Stewart Foundation #StandWithSmoke campaign! You will be showing how much you the fans support Tony by helping causes that are near and dear to Tony’s heart: critically ill or disabled children, at-risk or endangered animals, and injured drivers!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Donate at least $1.00 to the Tony Stewart Foundation.
  2. Click on the link in your receipt to get a link to your #StandWithSmoke sign, print it out and write your name on the top of it!
  3. Take your picture or film a short video with your sign. You can post it to the Tony Stewart Foundation facebook (for the duration of this campaign only- the foundation will be allowing donors to upload to their page) or tweet it out with the #StandWithSmoke hashtag (and be sure that tag the foundation @14TSF so that you can be retweeted).

Seems pretty simple right? Trust me when I tell you that it really is just THAT easy.

And think of the fun things you can do with your sign! Get creative! Abbie, Gracie and I are going to work on our #StandWithSmoke picture tomorrow!

What? Don’t believe it’s that easy? Then perhaps this little video from Tony’s parents will help persuade you:

 Hint: Be sure to watch the video until the very end!

This, however, is no ordinary fundraising campaign. As always any donation will go to fund grants to great organizations that support critically ill or disabled children, at-risk or endangered animals, and injured drivers. But this campaign is special because every donation of $10.00 or more will be matched by an anonymous donor up to a total donation of $50,000! So your $10.00 donation is really a $20.00 donation. Your $50.00 donation is really a $100 donation. If fans can raise $50,000 for the foundation then the foundation gets $50,000 from the anonymous donor. That’s a grand total of $100,000 to help children, animals, and drivers!

So like Tony’s father, Nelson, said- let’s make this go VIRAL Smoke fans! Show Tony we support him by donating what you can!  I know we fans can do it because we all #StandWithSmoke!!!
In case you can’t tell? I am excited about this campaign and will be pushing the heck out of it. Why? Because I #StandWithSmoke! Join in won’t you?

Tony Stewart, Martinsville 2014 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

This weekend Tony Stewart is carrying Code 3 Associates on board with him at New Hampshire as his primary sponsor. For those who aren’t familiar with Code 3 Associates it’s an organization that works to rescue and reunite pet owners with their pets during natural disasters. It’s something you might not think about. Picture if you will the devastating fires that California has been facing. Our fire season has been longer and more intense this year because of drought conditions and warm weather.  Picture having to go to your barn and open the gate and let your beloved horse go and hope for the best as the evacuations are getting near because you didn’t have the ability or the time to be able to transport your horse out before escaping yourself.  Picture driving down a congested, hazy, smoke ensconced freeway and  seeing two horses tied in the bed of a pickup in the lane next to you because their owners didn’t want to just leave them to fend for themselves.  These are pictures and stories I have seen and read on facebook of friends and relatives having to evacuate on short notice.  It’s in times like these that Code 3 Associates come in and help and just as importantly work hard to train others to help as well.

I think everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing is very honored to have Code 3 Associates as a partner. Taking care of animals has always been important to me and, when we started our foundation, we made animal welfare a priority. To be able to promote the work of Code 3 Associates so that it can do even more work for people and their pets is very satisfying. For those who don’t know, whenever there is a disaster, Code 3 Associates is the organization out there that takes care of a family’s pet – the one family member that can get overlooked in a disaster situation. It’s a program I really enjoy being able to promote both on and off the track.” — Tony Stewart, New Hampshire Team Release

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Tony Stewart, Martinsville, 2014 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)


Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #SmokeAlwaysRises

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page, Martinsville 2014 Album)

The stuff that has been rolling around in my brain like lugnuts in a pitstall during a green flag pit stop:

1. Wow- 10 “Loose Lugnuts” posts already? Not bad for just kind of a fun list. Like I said this is actually one of my favorite posts I write because it’s totally how I think- it’s just kind of a stream-of-conscious type thing. This seems to be a fairly post so I will keep it up!

2. Clint Bowyer’s number 15 Michael Waltrip Racing team was penalized 25 points yesterday for some sort of rules infraction that I saw on twitter was an “illegal trackbar” but for some reason the releases on the penalties the exact reason for the 15 team penalty wasn’t mentioned beyond a bunch of handbook infraction numbers that mean nothing to someone like me who doesn’t have a NASCAR rule book (would love one if anyone wants to pass one my way).   I have to say with Michael Waltrip Racing’s previous track record with these kind of issues I am not surprised. Part of me wonders if they don’t have trouble securing sponsorships because of previous cheating penalties (I am of course thinking of Boywer’s overly itchy arm a few years ago, and the jet fuel scandal a few years before that).  Of course MWR are appealing the penalty- I just hope that the appeal is heard soon (and upheld) because it really hoses up the chase when one of the chasers is penalized something like that- I mean with the points system the way it is (I almost called it the “new” points system but I guess we can pretty much state that it’s not really that new anymore ) 25 points is 25 positions on track (there were also monetary fines and  suspensions). Personally I think once the chase for the championship has started, anyone caught cheating should be disqualified from the chase. Yes they should be able to appeal it- and the appeal should be before the next race of the chase. Of course I think all chase cars should get an automatic post race trip to R&D as well to get a good going over to make sure that the cheating thing isn’t rampant.  That’s just my thoughts on the whole process. (more…)

September 18, 2015: during practice for the myAFibRisk.com 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway, in Joliet IL . (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Tony Qualified: Qualifying was rained out so he started 23rd based on first practice speeds.

Tony Finished: 25th, 3 laps down

Points: 530 (26th in points standings)

I admit it, I didn’t watch the race on Sunday. Go on and digest that one for a tad.

Before you get upset- I did listen to every second of it as broadcast on SiriusXM 90 because I was traveling back up to my home from Pomono in Southern California. (more…)

As most of my posts, this one was written the day before it’s published (in this case written on Thursday for publication on Friday) and it just so happens that today is my Friday. Anyway- I find that I am always trying to get through Friday Tony as a regular M-F, 8-5 working gal. Always. –AMY

CIA Stock Photo — at Phoenix International Raceway Nov 2014 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“You look at the past and we’ve had some weird events. On Fridays, I’ve had two events where I’ve crashed in practice. The first time (2004), Hermie Sadler blew a motor and, before the caution came out, I crashed in his oil and went to the hospital and I missed the rest of the day. And then, the very next year, I blew a tire in practice and J.J. Yeley had to qualify for me. It’s one of those places where, as long as I get through Friday, I feel like we’ve got a shot at it. But I don’t watch the stats very much. You just take it week to week. Technology in this sport changes so fast. What was good the last time you were there doesn’t mean it’s going to be good the second time around. You constantly have to work. You’ve got to keep pushing the envelope. It’s a place I like. This place is really racy as far as being able to move around and change lines and run anywhere from the bottom to the top. It’s a fun track because of that.” — Tony Stewart, Chicagoland Team Release 2015

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

CIA Stock Photo — at Phoenix International Raceway November 2014 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)


Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #SmokeAlwaysRises