Header image

This evening after I got home from what could only be described as a busy day topped with a little bit of crazy making sauce, I finally settled into my “me time” of which part of this evening was to peruse the internet and catch up on most of the days goings on because did I mention the busy with the crazy making sauce on top? That included finally reading a couple articles about Tony Stewart while I was working that I earmarked as things to read when I had time to enjoy them.  The two articles I earmarked today (Tuesday) were Tony Stewart interview pieces that were bound to come up since Monday was the anniversary of his sprint car accident that broke his leg.  These caused me to go back into my blog archives and pull up the first post I wrote after the accident- in which coincidentally I quoted the same author who’s newest book I just posted a review about this morning because while a it’s from her first book and a complete work of fiction this quote immediate makes me think of Tony today as much as it did a year ago so I will quote it again:

Plenty of us were race car drivers. But a racer was something else, someone who loved driving and competing above all else and who’d drive anything anywhere anytime, just to be strapped into a five-point harness.Dead Man’s Switch by Tammy Kaehler (page 116).

I mentioned something offhandedly on someone’s Facebook post the other day that one of the reasons I am a fan of Tony’s is because of his passion for racing in whatever form that might be. I don’t see what the big deal is about what he’s racing. Or even really the whole one form of racing being SUPERIOR to another deal. I mean it’s all racing right- so it all have some common ground- just because YOU like one specific form of racing doesn’t mean there is something wrong with other forms. Racing is racing is racing. I don’t care if it’s open wheel, stock car, two wheel, four wheel,  on dirt, on pavement, on oval, on a road course or on a quarter mile. Racing is racing is racing people. And the people who do it with passion, with fervor are racers. Maybe I am just weird because I started off as a NASCAR fan, transitioned over to open wheel fan and even went through a period where I loved NHRA.  Yes I post mainly about NASCAR but that is only because I am one person with a career beyond this blog, and a life.  If I were to write about every form of racing, or even every form of racing Tony Stewart did- I would never sleep. And I kind of like to sleep at least 6 hours a night.

The whole racer vs race car driver is a subtle thing but I think that most people will agree that Tony is a racer- and nothing about that has changed over the last year.

Tony at Martinsville in 2012

Tony at Martinsville in 2012 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia on October 26, 2012. Andrew Coppley/CIA Photo)

______

#StandWithSmoke

Avoidable Contact by Tammy Kaehler

Race car driver Kate Reilly is back in author Tammy Kaehler’s 3rd book in the Kate Reilly mystery series Avoidable Contact.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my hands on Avoidable Contact. I’ve read Kaehler’s first two books of the series (Deadman’s Switch and Braking Points) and I thoroughly enjoyed them both so I knew I was in for quite the ride.  I was definitely not disappointed.

“All the crap going on in the outside world can’t stop me from doing what I do best: kicking butt on the racetrack.”  pg 238, Avoidable Contact by Tammy Kaehler

In Avoidable Contact, our protagonist Kate is driving one of the Sandham Swift team Corvettes in the famed 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race.  The book opens with Kate Reilly standing on a very crowded pit road amid the chaos and crowds that is pre-race.  With less than an hour until the green flag, Kate spots two police detectives “with their serious faces on” heading her way flanked by the second in charge of operations fro the newly formed United SportsCar Championship series (USCC).  It immediately concerns her and well it should.  They are there to tell her that her boyfriend Stuart was involved in a hit-and-run accident outside the speedway that morning and is in serious condition at a nearby hospital fighting for his life.  Stuart is in charge of operations for the USCC and it doesn’t make sense to Kate that he would even be outside the track an hour before the start of the race.  Pushing that aside, Kate decides that Stuart wouldn’t want her to not drive in the race when the only thing she could do in the hospital for him is sit in the waiting room. Kate is determined to press on in spite of what is going on at the hospital blocks away and decides to concentrate on the race and her car and in between her driving stints she can watch for updates on Stuart and help in the search for who ran Stuart down and why.  She pushes Stuart and the rumors floating around the track as far out of her mind as she can and concentrates on driving- except during her first stint on the track Kate witnesses a terrifying on track incident that heaves her and the entire USCC racing community shaken to the core.  Kate can only wonder if the on track incident is related to Stuart’s pre-race accident and if that was the case who was their next target?

The thing that I adore most about the Kate Reilly Mysteries is Kate herself.  She is a very real character- and while she is spunky she still has those human moments and flaws that we all have and that makes her very real to me.  She is not a crime fighting machine in the guise of a race car driver- she just happens to usually be in the wrong place at the right time and the drive to see things though.  While Kate is a female driver in a male dominated sport (although not really- as Kate isn’t the only female driver) readers aren’t continually hit over the head with the fact that she is a female.  Kate doesn’t see her self as a female race car driver- but as a racer and that’s it.  Kate Reilly is a multifaceted character that I can identify with on a personal level.  She is the reason that I love these books.  I also love that Kaehler actually incorporates a real racing series right down to the recent creation of the United SportsCar Championship Series created when the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series merged back in 2013.

What unfolds over the course of the race is a gripping tale with more turns than the road course at Daytona.  I am not going to go any further into plot of Avoidable Contact because I want you to enjoy it as untainted by spoilers as possible.  But I will say that of the three Kate Reilly Mysteries- Avoidable Contact has moved into first place as my favorite!  Readers get to see parts of Kate’s life we haven’t seen before.  And I will say this: expect to be left craving book 4 and to be saying things out loud like “Urg! But what happens next?!” after you turn that last page.

Author Tammy Kaehler is a technical writer in the Los Angeles area.  To go along with the release of her third Kate Reilly Mystery, Tammy Kaehler has been blogging about some of the research she did for Avoidable Contact.  These blog posts are a perfect companion to the book: Avoidable Contact – The Backstory, Avoidable Contact- Racing Into The NightAvoidable Contact- My Sleep Research, and Avoidable Contact- Daytona’s Checkered Flag. They give you just a little bit of insight on what kind of research goes into a book like this plus are just fun race experiences and you KNOW how I like those since I write them for BadGroove. Pick up a copy of Avoidable Contact today- I really think you will love it! I certainly did.

______

For disclosure an advanced readers copy of Avoidable Contact was supplied for review purposes- but I would have had it queued up in my kindle pre-order queue if it hadn’t because I LOVE this series!

What Turn 4?

What Turn 4? The #14 Code 3 Associates Mobil 1 Chevy of Tony Stewart turns lap at the Tricky Triangle. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tony Stewart Facebook page)

It was another bad luck race for Tony Stewart and Team 14 at the evil little tricky triangle track known as Pocono.  It started with  Tony Stewart qualifying the #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 16th for the race in Long Pond, PA.

The race start time was moved up slightly because of possible weather in the area in the afternoon. I was actually kind of impressed- previously NASCAR has been resistant to moving race start times to outrun weather.  I liked that the were being a little more proactive.

Prayer Circle

Tony Stewart and crew form a prayer circle before the GoBowling 400 at Pocono Raceway August 2014 (Photo Credit: ommy Grassmann/CIA Copyright/Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

(more…)

I just could NOT resist posting a bonus TQMS today after what Tony said after wrecking out at Pocono:

Tony at Pocono

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Code 3 / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, gets into his car in the garage during Practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
(Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

“Man. I tend to end up on top of Paul (Menard) a lot… IN THE CAR, I MEAN. IN THE CAR.” Tweet from @MartySmithESPN

Um really Tony?!?

____

*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous editions of the TQMS posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #StandWithSmoke

Tony and Code 3 Associates

Tony and Code 3 Associates at Martinsville earlier this year. (photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“We’re honored to have Code 3 Associates as a partner with Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s nice to know there’s an organization out there that takes care of a sometimes overlooked but very important family member- your pet. 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.” – Tony Stewart, Pocono Team Release July/August 2014

Tony will be running the Code 3 Associates paint scheme this weekend at Pocono! #KeepDiggingTony- we are rooting for you.  While speaking of Code 3 Associates- you can join Tony and become a member (it’s free and you have a chance to win great prizes) of Code 3 Associates. Join now! You can also check out the Code 3 Associates Facebook Page for more information about this organization. If you join now, according to their facebook page you are in the running for an autographed picture of Tony Stewart and PorkChop. I wonder which signed it? ;-)

Tony is contemplative

Tony at Martinsville earlier this season. (photo credit: Tony Stewart facebook).

___

*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous editions of the TQMS posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #StandWithSmoke

GoDaddy has a new Danica commercial- this one also starring her crew chief Tony Gibson and her boss Tony Stewart. Tony has a little TOO much fun with an airwrench in the commercial but Danica gets the last laugh. Here is the commercial:

>
Also as part of the fun GoDaddy released a video of Danica confessing to an actual prank she pulled on Tony recently:

This group has to be a lot of fun to be around with all the pranking. I wonder what Tony has in store for Danica to get her back for the knotty shoe prank.

 

Just in time to celebrate Jeff Gordon’s record-breaking 5th Brickyard 400 win- go on a tour of the 100-Acre Hendrick Motorsports compound in North Carolina! Jeff Gordon’s crew chief Alan Gustafson gives 2009 Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg and YOU a tour on this episode of Garage Tours! Enjoy:

It’s no question that Kevin Harvick has been the performer this season for Stewart-Haas Racing.  Kevin leads Stewart-Haas Racing with two wins, five top-fives, and nine top-tens this season. He’s pretty much a shoe in for making the 2014 Chase Grid. At least he’s a member of Stewart-Haas Racing or this Tony Stewart fan would be an anti-Harvick fan this season (don’t take it personally Kevin- I am an equal opportunity anti-fan if you are doing better than my Smoke). Being the crack investigative journalist* I am- I think that I have found out WHY Kevin is doing so well this season and while Tony Stewart is not!  Kevin Harvick has stolen Tony Stewart’s #Mobil1Mojo and I have the surveillance video to prove it:

And now he’s going to flaunt his thievery of the #Mobil1Mojo at Pocono this weekend by driving the #4 Mobil 1 Chevy. Don’t believe me? Here is a picture of the paint scheme with an official quote and everything:

Photo courtesy of Mobil 1

“I’m honored to be driving the No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS at Pocono. Mobil 1 is a truly iconic brand in motorsports, both as a major sponsor of racing and as a performance partner for top race teams around the world. I know that Mobil 1 will help me get to the winner’s circle as I drive toward the 2014 Sprint Cup championship.” –Kevin Harvick

See how flagrant he is about his thievery?  Issuing quotes and photos and stuff?!  You won’t get away with this Kevin Harvick! Tony Stewart will figure out a way to get back his #Mobil1Mojo I am sure of it.

All joking aside- Kevin Harvick IS running the above paint scheme at Pocono Raceway this weekend.  Check it out.

Now I am off to plot world domination…or at least figure out a way to help Tony Stewart regain possession of the #Mobil1Mojo.

______

*If by investigative journalist I mean a tech support maven with a NASCAR blog ;-)