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(Photo source: Zimbio.com/Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images North America)

It’s been awhile since I have done a Loose Lugnuts and boy have I missed it. Some of this might be old news to you all and if it is I am sorry but I just wanted to make sure I shared it with you before it left my brain bucket completely.  So without further ado here is what has been rolling around in my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop this week:

1. I don’t know about you all but this #Smoke fan is still excited about his really awesome Sonoma win.  I so freaking excited to see Tony win at Sonoma I forgot how to work my camera!!  It was an awesome win and if you still haven’t read the Sonoma Race diary post (I know it’s a long one but I can’t help myself) please read it and let me know what you think. If you are looking for just the pictures you can see some of my pictures over here in the Flickr photo album for Sonoma 2016 or you can check out my facebook albums (for facebook I broke the photos into three separate albums: Various Toyota Savemart 350 At Sonoma Pictures, Tony Stewart VIP Experience, and Ernie Irvan/Tony Stewart Wall of Fame Plaque presentation). The difference between the facebook book albums and the flickr albums is there are a few of my phone pictures included in the facebook albums that I didn’t post up on Flickr…and there are two videos from my phone in the Wall of Fame Facebook Folder that I didn’t stick on twitter.

2. How excited was I for Tony’s win? I changed my cell phone lock screen from a picture of Abbie to this picture as soon as I saw it: (more…)

(Photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP Photo/Alan Marler)

Started: 19th

Finished: 26th

Points: 212 (30th in the standings, 3 points ahead of 31st and 31 points behind 29th).

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Facebook Page/HHP/Rusty Jarrett)

Am I the only one that misses the fact that the race use to be called the Firecracker 400? I mean can’t they at least call it the Firecracker 400 presented by Coke Zero at the very least?  I know that they called the Xfinity race the Firecracker 250 but still…I am talking about bringing some patriotism or acknowledgement of the holiday into the name of the race…I don’t think it’s odd.  Anyway on to the meat of the post and that is the actual race in Daytona.

Ahh Super Speedway racing. For me it’s less about winning and more about surviving.  The cars are running uber close and the usually inevitable wrecks are characteristically big. And then there are races like Saturday night in Daytona…where your driver just sticks to his p’s and q’s expertly avoids the “big one” and continues to bide his time during the race. He starts to make his move towards the front of the pack, ends up getting loose in a spot where he usually doesn’t get loose and crashes out of the race big time with only 10 laps left to go.

After the race- while most of his fans were holding their breath after seeing him take what looked like some serious hits both into the wall and by another driver, Tony took total responsibility for losing control of the car when it got loose.  His direct quote was “I just over corrected for it and drove it into the fence. So it was definitely my fault. I don’t know why I got loose but I got loose going into one.”  I do have to say that it would have been nice if NBC would have either showed him getting out of the car and into the ambulance under his own power or if they would have at least stated that he did I am sure several fans wouldn’t have been so on edge waiting for his post infield care center interview. Or maybe  moving around in the cockpit since I thought Tony was running an in-car camera.  But alas we were all left to hold our breaths until he stopped to talk to the media after leaving the media center.  I mean it’s not like he’s healing from a back injury or anything [insert sarcastic eyeroll here]. (more…)

photo source: Amy K. Marbach

Started: 10th

Finished: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Points: 196 (32nd in the standings, 9 points away from 30th and 3 points away from 31th).

Quote of the (post) Race: “All you got to do is give me that little bit of hope and I will run with it.” — Tony Stewart, Post race press conference 6-26-16 This was my FAVORITE quote from his very quip filled post race presser because I think it not only describes Tony Stewart to a T but us fans too- am I right?!?! (more…)

(Photo credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Well it’s an off week for the NASCAR races this week…but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t stuff pinging around my head like lugnuts during a green flag pit stop.

1. Last week we talked about Brad Keselowski’s comments about Jeff Gordon being in the booth. Afterwards Jeff Gordon interviewed Brad about his comments. You can see that interview here:

While I still do not necessarily agree with some of the things Brad says (especially about what kind of comments someone with a “stake” in the game should be able to make in the booth) I think it’s interesting to hear what he had to say about the situation.

2. Speaking of Jeff Gordon- there is a biography of Jeff  coming out in October that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You can be sure that this book (Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny, scheduled to release October 18th, by author Joe Garner) will be reviewed for Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List if I have to buy the sucker myself. You can read and excerpt here and order it from the Jeff Gordon store and get some extra digital behind-the-scenes goodies as well as a poster shipped with your book.

3. One more Jeff Gordon tidbit I wanted to point out today before we move on is this article on Popular Speed about the author’s personal experience with Jeff Gordon and his personal experience interview Jeff about his foundation. It’s a good read:  WAID’S WORLD: How a Meeting With Gordon Lifted One Man’s Spirit

4. I wanted to share another great article from Kristen Schneider  of Skirts and Scuffs. This one is about FoxSports1′s Danielle Trotta. It’s a great read: Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back. You know that I am a huge fan of Skirts and Scuffs and this article is another shining example of why.

5. I think Tony Stewart has a great understanding of social media as evidenced in this video from Mobil 1: (more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Josh Hedges/Getty Images North America)

Started: 3rd

Finished: 7th

Points: 152 (35th in the standings, 45 points away from 30th and 8 points away from 34th).

No matter where Tony starts in the grid I have always said that finishing better than what you started is a good day.  Tony may have finished 4 spots lower than where he started the race- but it’s really hard to call it a bad day when Tony Stewart and Team 14 had such a great weekend over all. This is the kind of weekend us Smoke fans have been wanting to see so I can only imagine the same is true for Tony and the team itself. (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart facebook page)

It’s been a while since I pulled together one of my gift-giving guides.  I figured with Father’s day right around the corner I would through out some suggestions for the Tony Stewart loving father or husband in your life! So without further ado- here are some gift ideas for the Tony Stewart fan in your life:

Texas fans can sign dad up for the 8th annual Smoke Show which takes place at Texas Motor Speedway on October 12th, 2016. What is the Smoke Show? It’s a fantasy stock car camp where participants will be given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a NASCAR driver during a typical race day, drive competitive laps in a stock car on Texas Motor Speedway and interact with Stewart throughout the event! Best part is that this is the gift that gives back as all proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.  You can visit the Texas Chapter Speedway Children’s Charities Smoke Show Event page for more information and to sign up Dad for the experience of a lifetime with Tony Stewart.

California Tony Stewart fans have the opportunity to sign up for the VIP Experience with Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway on June 25th. This experience is a hospitality experience with Tony Stewart.  Limited to 100 participants the Smoke VIP guests access to a deluxe mobile hospitality facility, garage tour, a Q&A experience with Tony Stewart, A professional picture taken with Tony, an autographed momento and more. The donation for the ticket goes directly to the Tony Stewart Foundation to fund their grant program. For information about the VIP Experience and to purchase tickets before they sell out visit the Tony Stewart Foundation VIP Experience website. There won’t be many opportunities like this before Tony Stewart retires for active NASCAR driving! Sign dad (or yourself) up now- it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for California fans- or any fans willing to go to Sonoma Raceway! (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

Since the race was on Monday- there seem to be fewer lugnuts pinging around my brain than normal- but here are the few that are pinging around. One gets a little soapboxy…so sorry about that.  Let’s get to them shall we?

1. First and foremost on my mind is Brad Keselowski and his comments about Jeff Gordon in the booth.  According to Sports Nation this is what Brad said:

“They need to get some people that aren’t inbred to the sport and own teams and have internal knowledge, because that is pretty crappy. It is what it is,” Keselowski added, via ESPN. “It’s not that I don’t like Jeff Gordon in the booth, it’s just that you need to have people in the booth that don’t own teams or have commercial interests to the sport, because they say things that are very biased.”

So first thing I am going to address is Brad using the term “inbred” in his statement because I have seen comments from several Jeff Gordon fan’s who have taken extreme offense to that term.  I do not think (and I could be wrong) that brad meant it as an affront to Jeff Gordon- stating that he is inbred.  I think that was just a poor choice of wording on Brad’s part. I think Brad meant it more in the way that one would use the words ingrained or inherent not in the “persons conceived of breeding between two closely related individuals” sort of sense.

However I do not agree with his assertion that Jeff Gordon shouldn’t be announcing in the booth because he is biased because he has a commercial interest in a team on the track. You can NOT tell me that any announcer or reporter for that matter is not biased in some fashion or other. It’s how they deal with that bias. While yes Jeff Gordon is financially involved in a race team on track (in an owner role with Jimmie Johnson’s team) it’s not like he is sitting there jabbering on and on about how great Jimmie is and that is it it. Jeff provides insight into the race from a fairly current driver stand point- he is more familiar with the cars than the other announcers. I appreciate and like his insights above all the other announcers to be frank (although Mike Joy is a close second). I would rather hear the race from the point of view from an announcer/commentator that knows the sport from the inside than have say…an ex-football player who knows nothing about racing sitting up there trying to commentate on what is happening on the track. I am sure that football fans would rather hear their games commentated on by ex-players and coaches than by say…ex tennis players who don’t know the sport. See where I am going with this? Do I want John McEnroe commentate a NASCAR race? Um no, not really. I want to hear about it from someone who knows what it’s like in that car, and who knows what officials are looking at.  It’s not like Jeff Gordon is the one that reported the possible hip check by the jack man on Brad’s car. He was just explaining it and the penalty and comparing it to a similar penalty in Vegas (which I would compare it to as well). They explained it on the MRN broadcast too (for those of us who had to listen instead of watch because of work obligations.  Brad’s not being picked on. Tony’s team got penalized for illegal body modification prior to a race last week at Charlotte- it was why he started at the rear of the field and why his crew chief is now on probation through the end of the year. I really do not understand what Brad’s issue is. Does that mean Dale Jr shouldn’t commentate before the Xfinity race series? It just seems like a pointless complaint. Plus- and I mentioned this on twitter- what does it really matter to Brad since that he is in the car and not listening to the commentary anyway.


(photo source: Zimbio.com/Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

Started: 6th

Finished: 34th

Points: 118 points (currently 36th in the points 71 points behind 30th place currently held by David Ragan and only 1 point behind 35th place Cole Whitt) *** (this is by my math- and not official) ***.

Because the Axalta 400 got postponed until Monday I couldn’t watch it because of work.  I tried to figure out how to watch on FoxSportsGo but I couldn’t get my directv login to work despite it working for other things. So I listened to MRN using SiriuxXM, listened to Tony’s radio on my NASCAR ap and watched twitter like a hawk.  So that’s how I “watched” the race at Pocono.  It’s funny because I always listen to Tony’s radio while I am watching the national broadcast and it’s usually a lap or two behind. But while listening to SiriusXM- it was a good two to four laps ahead of the Sirius. I found out about Tony’s wreck before I was hearing it because Misty texted me a sad face with the word dammit. She told me about the wreck before either Sirius or Tony’s radio could. (more…)