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zMAXDragway in Concord, NC Summer of 2012 (Photo Credit Bryan Howland Photography)

One of my Facebook friends shared the above picture on my wall a while back (Hi Shannon!) and I just love it on so many levels.  First off it’s just a beautiful picture- I could hang that in my office or something if I had a copy.  But it’s more that than- it’s the face that it’s a race way.  Even though it’s technically a drag strip in North Carolina I have never been to and I am a NASCAR girl from California – this photo has me jonesing hard to be at a race track. (more…)

The 14 Car on Pit Road

Tony Stewart’s #14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy sits in the pits at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: The Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/ Andrew Coppley/CIA Stock Photo Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc)

Over my life, my racing fandom has wavered between NASCAR, IRL and even NHRA for awhile before I settled back on NASCAR in the late 90s. I know I have mentioned this here before (usually right around this time of year) but I started off as a mostly IRL fan  (technically it was before the inception of what is now called IRL- back then it was called CART and if anyone mentions that I am showing my age- I will sock you in the eye) likely because that was the premier racing series that the track closest to my home ran at the that time.  I remember watching many an Indy500 “bubble day” with bated breath wondering who was going to make the field and who was going to go home sad. I knew the words to “Back Home Again In Indiana” before my own state song. I have no trouble sitting down and watching an IRL race, and did so with even more glee than usual on Sunday – all because Kurt Busch was running the double. As I listened to the Indy500 pre race show as I flitted about the house before settling into watch some racing, I said after the pre-race interview with Kurt “If he doesn’t crash the Indy car I have no doubt he will do it.” Little did I know what exactly he would do that could in the Indy500 side of the double.  I mean- technically it was his first time in a IRL race. And racing is different than testing, and qualifying and all that.  When Kurt tied Tony’s best Indy double finish…I was IMPRESSED!  I was so disappointed for him when he suffered an engine failure in Charlotte.  I HOPE that doesn’t dissuade him from attempting this again! I love the double and would actually LOVE to see more drivers attempt it- it adds something to the Indy 500 to me as well as the Coca-Cola 600.

The pit crew of the #14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy services the car. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart FaceBook page)

That said- let’s talk Coca-Cola 600.  It’s the longest race of the NASCAR season- I know that there has been talk that it’s too long- but I think there needs to be at least one 600 mile race in the season.  In a time when the trend is to want to shorten races in general- I think it’s important to have a long race to showcase the endurance of the drivers, team and equipment.  I think of it as the endurance race of NASCAR. (more…)

Instead of the usual Friday TQMS* post that I usually do- I thought I would share this picture that Tony tweeted not long after he joined Twitter because for some reason I find PorkChop to be ridiculously adorable:

“Porkchop and I are wore out after watching the truck race”- Tony Stewart’s 2nd official tweet (Click picture to be taken to the original tweet).

Awwww….I can’t be the only one.  Cute lil piggie. Actually not so little- Porkchop appears to be about the size of my beagle.  Hey Tony how about a play date? (Kidding- although Gracie loves to play with other dogs- I think PorkChop  might scare her and then she would scare him with her crazy shrill baying and he’d likely head for the hills – or wherever lil piggies hide). (more…)

You may recall me posting a picture earlier this month of Matt Kenseth and this year’s Goodyear SUPPORT OUR TROOPS tire. Well this weekend is the Coca-Cola 600 (or The World 600 if you are Dale Jr.) which will feature the last appearance of this tire at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

However- you can get in on the action by helping Goodyear give back to the troops by bidding on several auction items through the NASCAR FOUNDATION. Proceeds will go to support the troops. Some of the items up for auction include autographed tires from many NASCAR Drivers including Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, an autographed piece of the #11 Fedex Car driven by Denny Hamlin, and what is probably the coolest auction item I have ever seen- a ride for two in the Goodyear Blimp (which NO you would not catch me doing- I am hard pressed to get in an airplane- like HELL am I getting in a blimp- but my father however- would LOVE this).  This particular set of auctions will end on May 27th, so get your bids in now at the NASCAR FOUNDATION GOODYEAR GIVES BACK page today! There are even Support Our Troops hats and shirts that you can purchase for a reasonable price.

You can also visit the GOODYEAR GIVES BACK page for a link to the auction site, a page where you can leave a message to thank the troops, a donation page and other ways that Goodyear is giving back to our troops and how you can help through July 31st!

Qualifying Pit Stop

Qualifying Pit Stop for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store, Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc.)

So I have to admit- I was not as enthralled with the All-Star Race this year as I have been in years past.  Why? I can’t be 100 percent sure why-but likely it’s a combination of things.  I think a big part of it has to do with the fact that they never seem to stick to a format (would it kill them to reverse the field again maybe in the second to last segment- that year was fun).  Plus I REALLY miss the Pit Crew Challenge. ALOT.  That was always my FAVORITE event of the All-Star Week celebrations- the pit crews getting to show their stuff and shine in the light for awhile….NASCAR is a team sport and unfortunately they can be a little overlooked sometimes I think. .  Plus I readily admit that a teeny tiny part of me is jealous and would LOVE to be in the Charlotte area touring race shops and such instead of working. One of these years it will happen… (more…)

Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross available now at Amazon and other retailers.

 

“Racing appealed on a level far more deeply satisfying than fame and money; besides the pure adrenaline rush, it gave him an outlet for taking control and conquering life’s uncertainties.” John F. Ross, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

It’s been awhile since I read anything- especially anything I could use for an installment of “Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List” but finally here it is! In this installment I am reviewing John F. Ross’s biography Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed. Chances are you are having one of two reactions to the title.  One reaction might be “Who?”   The other thought might be something along the lines of “World War One ace fighter pilot.”  The second thought was what came into my head when I was asked if I would like a copy of this novel to review for my readers to the point I nearly turned it down. Luckily the words Indy 500 caught my eye and I thought- heck I will give it read.

I am glad I did.  My dad is an aviation buff so I was familiar with the name Eddie Rickenbacker in that sense; ace pilot of World War I. But that is about all I really knew about him- that he flew biplanes in World War I.  I am going to be honest- when in school I was never a huge fan of history. All those dates and names and places. But this book brings this era that we learned about in school to life for me with it’s words in a way that has never been done before.  About the excitement and the constant changing of the industrial revolution and as the author calls it the “Age of Speed”. The book is very full of descriptive prose that make you feel like you are reading a novel instead of a biography. (more…)

Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the field

Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the field to another restart at Kansas (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

Sigh. That is really all I have after the night race in Kansas is a long forlorn sigh.  What does team 14 have to do to catch a freaking break this season. The weekend started with a really STRONG qualifying showing from Stewart-Haas Racing. All four cars qualified in the top 10 (Kevin had the pole, Kurt qualified 6th, Tony qualified 8th, and Danica 9th).  I am not sure- but I think that might be a first right there, but regardless it was a strong qualifying showing and even had the pre-race show talking heads yabbering about how Stewart-Haas was doing so well (which cracked me up because all we have been hearing previously from them was about how something is missing at SHR) and was the team to beat. Make up your mind guys…seriously. (more…)

Tony waves during driver intros

Tony Stewart waves to the crowd during driver introductions at Kansas Speedway in 2013. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

 

“But in this series where we have races that are 400, 500 miles long, the guys with experience know when to push. They know when it matters. It’s like that every week because our races are so long. There are times you have to be patient and do the opposite of what you want to do. You let guys go because you know it’s the wrong part of the race to be fighting for a position. There’s nothing that replaces seat time, and guys that have experience at this level know how to put together an entire race, not just a segment.” Tony Stewart, The 2014 Kansas Race Preview Team Release

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

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