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(Sorry for the delay in the race report- my laptop’s processor decided to die on me so I am having to update this at work during my break and lunches. I suppose I could use my Kindle- but I find typing on it awkward- like I am trying to text on a giant phone with tiny hands or something. My new laptop should be here around Friday- thank goodness.  Wish me luck figuring out Windows 8).

The 14 crew hard at work at The Lady In Black

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I really wanted to Tony to win this race- Darlington is one of two tracks that Tony hasn’t won at- so I REALLY wanted him to win at it (the other is Kentucky- if you are wondering). Of course technically I want Tony Stewart to win every race. I am competitive like that and live vicariously through my driver. Unfortunately it was not to be. He qualified 23rd- definitely could have been worse- but it also definitely could have been better.  I chalked it up to a bad couple of qual runs and hoped race day would be better.

Chad Johnston and Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, speaks with his crew chief Chad Johnston during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

But alas race day was NOT better- I dare say it was worse. The car did not handle well- and there were several times Tony asked for adjustments to help – a couple of them he was quite frustrated with the way the car was or was not responding. I believe at one point Tony pretty much said “I really don’t know what more I can tell you” about how to make the car handle better.  It was around this point I believe I bemoaned: Why is it that when Kevin Harvick’s car is strong, Tony’s car is junk and when Tony’s car is strong Kevin Harvick’s is junk? WHY?!?  I was a frustrated race fan with a frustrated driver- who at one point was two laps down. Yes you read that right TWO LAPS DOWN! Sigh.

Never Give up

Apparently even Batman knows to never give up on Tony Stewart! (Photo Credit: Meme by Claudia F.)

It’s at this point that I would usually lose interest in the race- but I couldn’t. Why? Because the racing was GOOD at the front.  I mean good. I got wrapped up in that and (hangs her head) kind of stopped paying attention to where Tony was on the track. He seemed fairly much stuck in the 20s and I had resigned him to that.  What a mistake I made.

I remember that for the first Green-White-Checker hearing Chad Johnston tell Tony and the crew that they were going to do four tires but no fuel to make the nose of the car heavy.  I thought it was an interesting strategy but figured it was too little to late kind of deal.  I need to officially apologize to both Chad and Tony for that. I was so caught up with what was going on at the front of the field and the second Green-White-Checker that I still do not know how Tony ended up finishing 9th.  It was after the race and I just happened to glance up at the TV when they were scrolling through the field and I remember seeing Tony in 9th. I was all WAIT UP WAIT UP- did that just say that Tony Stewart finished 9th?! Seriously? (I had to rewind the tv to double check- yep there it was in black and white- Tony finished 9th).  That was an awesome finish.  His ninth place finish brought him up to 12th in the series points standing- something I would get excited about if points mattered for the chase- which they do not.

The winner was Stewart-Haas Teammate Kevin Harvick- whom I might add is also the first driver of the season with multiple wins (2). I think I can dare say that Kevin Harvick is locked into the chase at this point. Whoo!

Notes about Darlington:

1. At one point in the race Tony Stewart said: You’ve got to get me some grip…I’m getting my ass handed to me.  My father says: Is he hungry? I look confused. My dad said- he just said you’ve got to get me some grits. Oh the laughs. Because if he was hungry- of course grits would be the most handy thing for a Tony Stewart to snack on in the car. (By the way- for the record- I don’t think my father has ever even had grits- being California born and raised. I was born and raised in California too but I have…and I don’t like them).

2. Here is a great article about the paramedic Jay Masur that Tony credits with saving his leg and his life last August.

Gratuitous Tony Stewart pictures:

I dare say Mr. Stewart looks up to something

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, speaks with a crew member during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)

Things that make Tony go HMMM?!

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, sits in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

This weekend is an off weekend for Easter- and then the following Saturday (April 26th) is Tony Stewart’s favorite track: Richmond!!


#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Tony Stewart During Driver Intros at the 2013 Southern 500

Tony Stewart During Driver Intros at the 2013 Southern 500 (photo credit: Tonystewart.com)


“As much as we know about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I think people underestimate how much we know about Darlington and the history of that track, and how hard it is to win races there. I guess that’s why a Sprint Cup win at Darlington is something that’s really important to me.” Tony Stewart- when asked if open-wheel drivers respect the history of Darlington in the SHR Pre-Race release.


*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

FORT WORTH, TX -APRIL 4: Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, alongside NASCAR VP of Green Innovation Michael Lynch and ExxonMobil motorsports technical adviser Roger Hood at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images for ExxonMobil)

In keeping with NASCAR’s efforts to “go green” NASCAR will, with the help of ExxonMobil, begin to convert it’s fleet and service vehicles as well as it’s generators over to Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy and Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30.  Fleet cars, transporters and even the famed Air Titan, protector of the NASCAR Universe, will be using Mobil 1 (that’s 65 fleet vehicles and 16 generators).

Global motorsports manager at ExxonMobil, Artis Brown, explained “our line of advanced lubricating oils and greases can help increase equipment operating efficiency and engine fuel economy, and help contribute to reduced energy and resource use, lower emissions, and cost savings for industrial equipment and machinery, as well as passenger and commercial vehicle engines.”

As we fans know- Mobil 1 in one of Tony Stewart’s Primary Co-Sponsors, so he was on hand at the press conference at Texas Motor Speedway last Friday.  “After working with ExxonMobil lubricant engineers for three seasons, I’ve seen first-hand how well they know the value of engine oils to fuel economy—whether it’s for me on the track or for consumers driving to and from the track. Since Stewart-Haas Racing and Mobil 1 began our relationship, the entire SHR team has seen improved fuel mileage, resulting in our drivers being able to go longer between pit stops,” owner/driver Tony Stewart explained.

Some pictures from the event: (more…)

Tony Stewart Wins The Duck Commander 500 Pole

Tony Stewart Wins The Duck Commander 500 Pole (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

What do I have in common with Tony Stewart? That is easy- I also drove 500 miles on Monday.  Of course his drive took far less time than mine did, but in my favor- Tony didn’t get to take potty breaks. I was an hour and a half into my drive when the Duck Commander 500 started and well- lets just say I still had about two and a half hours left in my drive when it ended. (more…)

Tony Stewart at Texas Motor Speedway for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Facebook page)


The more comfortable I am, the faster we go.– The undeviating yet always loquacious Mr. Tony Stewart, Duck Commander 500 Pre-Race Team Release


#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

2011 Sprint Cup Winner Tony Stewart

2011 Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart with the Sprint Cup. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

This year marks a year of great change in NASCAR and for fans trying to navigate these changes. The first change is a new qualifying procedure that has multiple cars on the track at any given time- deemed “Knockout Qualifying.” Next the whole 2014 Chase format has been changed (think of the NASCAR Chase as being a championship playoffs if you are new to NASCAR).  Instead of 12 drivers (what it has been in seasons past)- the Chase has been expanded to 16 spots- where drivers are subsequently knocked out of the chase in three three-race rounds- eventually narrowing the field to four cars for the final race in Homestead-Miami. That right there seems like a lot of change right?

But what seems to be causing a lot of the confusion right now is HOW a driver qualifies for that Chase. Somehow- the idea that if a driver wins a race in the “regular season” (defined as the first 26 POINTS PAYING races of the NASCAR season) that driver is qualified for the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Series Cup.  This has been mentioned by national media on TV as well as by drivers.  Because of all the confusion, I decided to go back to the original NASCAR release announcing the new Chase format (which also address exactly HOW a driver qualifies for that chase) and read over it several times.

Let me answer some questions as I understand the new rules: (more…)

Working on the Code 3 Associates #14

The crew works on the #14 Code 3 Associates/BassPro/Mobil 1 chevy of Tony Stewart during the race on Sunday 2014 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

It seems that whenever I pick Tony Stewart as my lead in my Fantasy League- he has a terrible day. So I can be assuring you all that I will not be picking him as my lead driver anymore. Sigh. I was so optimistic that Tony would have a good run at Martinsville.  He was running the Code 3 Associates paint scheme and the last time he ran that- he won the race (Pocono). Plus he qualified 7th! Whoo! That was awesome. (more…)

I absolutely hate April Fool’s Day. I am notoriously gullible which makes me a prime target. An example: at college another student and I had the same backpack. I inadvertently took hers from a bookstore cubby and didn’t discover the err until my next class. I ran back, made the exchange and thought nothing of it. Until later that week when my dad called me to tell me the police were at the house looking for me- something about a stolen backpack. I may or may not have been in tears by the end of the joke.

Anyway- I love this video of drivers talking about the best and worst pranks. Check it out!

April Fool’s Day: NASCAR Style

Drivers sit down and talk about some of the best pranks they have seen over the years.

Sponsored by: NASCAR inGEAR