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I have made no secret about the fact that I love the new Chevy Camaro. As a matter of fact I was just thinking the other day how AWESOME it would be to take a Camaro on a rode trip. Let me explain- back in 2007 I rented a car to do a little road trip because my Rav was not so reliable. That car ended up by chance being a Chevy HHR- so basically I tested it out for 700+ miles. I ended up falling in love with it, so I then went to the dealership a couple months later and bought one. This year I have a road trip planned where I will drive from here to Vegas to get Misty and together we will be going to Phoenix for the race in November- how uber cool would it be for us to take that trip in a Camaro? Well even if I win Tony Stewart’s Camaro I will probably be going in my HHR because I doubt I will have the Camaro by then. Plus since the raffle tickets to win Tony’s Camaro are only $25.00 this year- I am sure there will be a of entries to compete with.

Yeah that’s a big convoluted but totally true story about my lust of the Chevy Camaro – all to let you know that you only have LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT to buy raffle tickets where you too can be in the running to win Tony Stewart’s 2011 Convertible Camaro.

However- if you don’t win the grand prize convertible Camaro…you may win one of two COMPLETELY awesome VIP race packages. These packages are ALMOST as awesome as the Camaro.  There is the NASCAR race package that includes 2 tickets to a 2012 NASCAR race of choice, Airfare, Hotel, Race Scanner Rentals, Pre-Race Pit Passes and a Meet and Greet with Tony Stewart.  There is also the Eldora VIP race package which includes 4 suite tickets to 2012 Eldora Speedway race of choice, VIP campsite, 4 pit passes, autographed souvenirs and more. You can check out the Smoke Camaro webpage for more details on the prize packages as well as to purchase your raffle tickets.  Tickets are on sale until OCTOBER 24th!

ALL proceeds from the raffle go to the Tony Stewart Foundation to help chronically ill children, abused and endangered animals and injured race racers.

It was great to actually not only get to watch a race real time on Sunday but it was AWESOME to watch Tony Stewart win real time.  If you are new here?  Last week the race was rain delayed to Monday- so I had to “watch” from work using NASCAR.Com’s Race Buddy- which was good except that I get all wrapped up in watching the race and may have let a little whoo hoo out (and clapped vigorously) at work. Luckily for me I am on west coast time so it was lunch time and most of the people on this floor were off having lunch.  So this week, when I saw pictures like this, I was a tad worried that it would be a repeat of last week- that I would miss the race because it would again run on Monday:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, drives his car through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

While rain puddles make for a lovely reflection picture, they do not make for a good race.

And while I am sharing pictures, I had to share this one because whenever I see these pictures of Tony doing his media at the back of his hauler I think about two things- my experience standing in that crowd in Sonoma and the Police song Lyrics “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, speaks with the media during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Seriously- that is crazy! Photographer Glenn Bure was at New Hampshire and kindly offered me up some of his shots for the blog…of course I couldn’t say no:

Tony ties his shoes getting ready to race at New Hampshire! (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove.com)

I was standing directly in front (probably about a foot or so away) from a rather large TV pretty much willing Tony to pass Clint Bowyer…and I may have cheered a little when Clint ran out of gas.  Ok- I cheered a lot (sorry Clint- but it’s true). How could I not? MY DRIVER WAS ABOUT TO WIN HIS SECOND RACE.  Of course I was also sitting there going, “Egads please have enough gas ” the whole last two laps or so after Bowyer ran out.  It was probably a sight to see. Luckily no one was filming it (hopefully).

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Just because I was at home doesn’t mean I wasn’t uber excited when he won….how could I NOT be.  Two wins in a row and now leading the points? That is something to be uber excited about! Speaking of exciting- these guys are excited (click on the picture for a bigger version to see how excited).

The Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy crew of Tony Stewart celebrates in Victory Lane (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for Badgroove)

Tony doing post-race interview with SportsCenter (I think). (Photo credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

And then of course I have to share my favorite part of the Stewart-Haas hat dance pictures…where Tony Stewart and Darian Grub give new meaning to the term “hat dance” when they pose with their El Monterey sombreros on:

Tony Stewart and Darian Grubb give new meaning to the term "hat dance" Ariba! (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

and of course this one of just Tony and his sombrero (click to embiggen):

There is just something about the look in his eyes in this picture that makes me chuckle. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

All said and done though, I am so glad that Tony and the gang won chase race number two.  Way to #KeepDiggingTony! Yeehaw.  So as I mentioned Tony Stewart is now first in the standings with a 7 point lead on second place Kevin Harvick.  Stewart-Haas teammate and fellow chase contender fell four positions in the chase standings and is now eleventh.

Notes on New Hampshire:

  1. I admit I think this every time I see the New Hampshire winner posing with their lobster…do they have to cook that thing thing themselves? I mean did Tony (or crew) stick that behemoth in a big cooler (it would have to be BIG- did you see the claws on that sucker?) and load it up on the plane to be eaten later? Did they whisk the lobster off and grill it up right then and there?  Do they all go have some celebratory dinner at a local restaurant that is charged with cooking said lobster? You would need a pretty damn big pot to cook that thing in…I always wonder about who actually gets the lobster…and does it actually get eaten? Does the whole team get lobster omelets the next morning for breakfast? What? Anyone know?
  2. I can’t wait for my fantasy racing league to post results from last week week (they do it on Tuesdays). Why? Well because four of my six drivers finished in the top 5.  That’s got to be a good thing right?
  3. Poor Junior can’t catch  dang break. He was heading towards a good finish before he had his tire issue.  He needs a hug. Someone give that man a hug. I know at least one reader who would volunteer for that job.
  4. There was a great article on NASCAR.COM about Darian Grubb by Joe Menzer- it’s a must read!
  5. Also Jeff Gluck wrote an interesting piece called “What’s It Like For Reporters To Cover Tony Stewart” on sbnation. Also interesting.
  6. And because this is my blog I present to you a gratuitous Tony picture from New Hampshire:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, waits by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 23, 2011 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I  wonder what’s making Tony go “Hmmmm….” in this picture. Or maybe I don’t want to know.

Next Week: Dover.

I know I have talked a whole lot about the “Honoring Our Heroes” paint scheme that Tony Stewart ran in Richmond.  I talked about it the minute I found out about the paint scheme. I posted pictures of the paint scheme on the diecast. I posted about it right before the Richmond race. I posted about it after the Richmond race.  So why am I posting about it yet again, when the race is done and over and we have moved on?

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Okay- seriously it was all I could do not to use WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER as the title of this post.  Now that it’s out of my system (kind of) I can move on with the post.

Monday morning, while I was getting ready for work,  I nearly forgot to put on my pink checker flag socks. I wear them every race day.  I was up earlier than normal after a fairly crappy night of (lack of) sleep and more worried about getting my car to its service appointment by 7:30 and wasn’t thinking about it being race day. Thus, I nearly forgot to wear my socks.  Fear not- I remembered at the last minute that I was about to put on the wrong socks and grabbed the right pair.  Then as I was slipping them on I thought to myself- I should snap a picture of my checker flag socks and post them on my blog…but then common sense took over and I decided no one would want to see my socks. So consider yourself lucky that you aren’t looking at a pink sock emblazoned with checkered flags encasing my foot right now.  You are welcome.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 19, 2011 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

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Dear Mother Nature-

Please quit raining on my parade NASCAR races.  It was bad enough that I have had a nasty headache all day. All I wanted was a little racing action. (Ok- I lie- really I wanted to see Tony keep digging, race his way to the front of the field and take the checkers to WIN).  Instead, I got to watch ESPN beat a dead horse for hours and hours and hours with their interviewing drivers, crew chiefs, going over Paul Menard’s spin ad nauseum, going over the safety innovations since the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt, bringing up the 1979 fight between Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough during the first full race telecast and how it also changed the sport…you get the picture…we fans had to endure a lot of dead horses. At any moment I expected them to start interviewing the guys in charge of gluing the lugnuts to the tires- and asking THEM about Paul Menard and if they thought his spin was intentional (okay- maybe I exaggerate a wee bit- but not much).  And those are only the parts I caught while doing this and that- determined not to let the rain delay ruin my entire day (although it kinda did anyway- since I was really REALLY looking forward to watching the first chase race).

What I am trying to say, Mother Nature, is that trying to “watch” a race at work sucks. Let’s make this Monday the last time I have to do this okay?

Smoochies,

Amy

P.S. It doesn’t look like Tony enjoys the rain delay much more than I did:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, walks down pit road as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18, 2011 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

In all seriousness though- Good Luck TONY tomorrow. I will be watching you best I can as I toil away.

On Thursday September 15th, Tony Stewart aided the Office Depot Foundation in donating sackpacks to Chicago area children in need of school supplies.  After the sackpack donation was an autograph session for fans at the same Office Depot location.  You know how I LOVE these events because I think that helping students learn can only benefit everyone. Just think how having the right tools at school can help increase a student’s confidence and learning.  That is why I love these events!

Here are some photos of the event (the best picture is the last one)!

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart (center) with several of the recipients of the Sackpacks provided by The Office Depot Foundation (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

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So this is the 1000th post on BadGroove.  Actually if you want to be all technical about it, the post announcing Tony’s Chicago autograph session (pictures of this coming soon) was the 1000th post that was posted. But this post was in draft form before that one with this title so I still like to think of this as the the big 1000- don’t you? I definitely do. I think I should get a present!  What do you get a blogger for their 1000th post? Let me guess, um, a swift kick in the rear right? If that is the case, I will pass on the present.

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In Misty’s perfect world, here is how the 2011 Chase would shake out.

  1. Jeff Gordon (no explanation needed)
  2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Come on underdog!)
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Tony Stewart (would be equally happy if Tony were 2nd, but then the HMS sweep would be slightly compromised)
  5. Ryan Newman (only cause he completes the HMS linked sweep)
  6. Kyle Busch (would be higher except for my HMS dream)
  7. Matt Kenseth (super nice guy)
  8. Carl Edwards (let’s keep the Fords together)
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Kevin Harvick
  11. Kurt Busch
  12. Denny (“Silver Pen”) Hamlin

 

However, as much as I like to think the world revolves around me, I know it doesn’t and here is where I would put my money if I were a gambler.

  1. Jeff Gordon (hey he has the momentum and the Drive for Five is alive!)
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Tony Stewart (not a stellar season so far, but his consistency is going to get him a solid spot)
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Carl Edwards
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Ryan Newman
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  12. Denny Hamlin