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This will be my third year going to the NASCAR Champions Week celebration in Las Vegas and honestly it’s something that I look forward to attending starting months and months in advance.  I LOVE going to these events because they are usually very fan friendly, fun, plus it’s really great to see the the top 12 drivers in a relaxed situation away from the stress and competition of the race season! I have written about my experiences here each time.  I wrote about the first year here and here. And about last year’s events here and here (and Misty wrote about fanfest).  See- always glowing reviews- and we ALWAYS have fun. If you can manage to get to Vegas for the Champions Week celebration I highly highly suggest that you do it!

One of my favorite events is the NASCAR After The Lap event because it is so much fun to see the drivers really just be themselves.  Last year’s was particularly enjoyable and I learned that Clint Bowyer was a total cut up. Plus seeing and hearing Tony Stewart talk is always FUN.  So this year Misty forwarded me the email she got (because she ordered our tickets last year) with the pre-sale information on them. I bought our AFTER THE LAP tickets this year because she purchased them last year…that’s just how we roll (plus proceeds to the ticket sales go to THE NASCAR FOUNDATION so it’s win-win).  I was quite pleased because of our pre-sale status we got some REALLY close seats (our original seats were: GOLD 2, row DD, seats 13-14) Awesomely close…as in fourth row. Which rocks because last year? We had second to last row.  So awesome for us right?

Yesterday, out of the blue Ticketmaster emails me and says that those totally awesome seats? Were sold in error and that they have assigned us new seats in section 102 row C seats 5 and 6. The email they sent CLEARLY stated that if I wanted to retain these new seats I had until October 28th to reply to the email with my order number and that if I did NOT reply they would cancel my order- no harm no foul.  While I was NOT pleased at all that my uber close, 4th row awesome seats were now relocated to a much further back row I did still want to attend the event so what was I gonna do?  I emailed back with my original order number as specified in my email.  This morning when I checked my email I had a lovely email stating that my ticket order HAD BEEN CANCELLED! CANCELLED! This is definitely PANIC AT THE DISCO time.  I fired back an email stating that I replied per their instructions (and I reread their instructions three times to make sure I didn’t misread) to RETAIN my tickets not to CANCEL them!  Then I decided to call them to reiterate that I wanted my tickets.  They were closed of course. So I waited until 9:00 when they opened and called back again.  The representative who helped me (JAY) was nice and looked up my order number and told me that it indeed was cancelled.  AND not only that but the seats they reassigned me? Sold already. JAY the ticket master rep who helped me found me some equivalent seats (now we are sitting in section 101 Row C seats 5 & 6 but told me that the event is selling out fairly quickly.

So get your tickets for NASCAR AFTER THE LAP ASAP if you want to go- JAY told me they were already starting to run low on seats. And hopefully Ticketmaster won’t screw up your seats like they screwed up ours (TWICE).  See you there…and now you know exactly where we will be sitting so swing by and say HEY (that is of course unless our tickets get moved AGAIN).

Oh and in my rant I nearly forgot to tell you if you visit NASCAR AFTER THE LAP right now you can enter to WIN a trip to Vegas- including two VIP tickets to AFTER THE LAP (probably in my original seats..just kidding, kinda) AND a brand new Ford Explorer.

One of my favorite pictures from last year’s Stewie Awards during the Champions Week…just for fun:

Tony Stewart smiles at the 2010 Stewie Awards in Las Vegas, NV

Probably the best picture of Tony Stewart I have managed to take...because most of them manage to blur because I get nervous and move the camera. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

UPDATE: I am starting to think that TICKETMASTER pre-sale isn’t anything to get excited about that is for sure. Tell me Ticketmaster- what is the point of a pre-sale when I went out of my way to disrupt my morning routine to be sure I would be online the minute the tickets went on pre-sale…and ended up with 4th row seats (or second row in the case of Opal…our first commenter) as my prize for doing so- only to then get railroaded several sections back into the seating because of a supposed error that wasn’t discovered until so many of the seats have already been sold. I bet that if I had waited for tickets to go on sale for regular non pre-sale time slot I would have received just as good if not better seats that I have now.

It’s comparing apples to oranges admittedly but it’s not just the NASCAR After The Lap thing that TICKETMASTER is having a problem administering the pre-sale for.  Here is an article about the Sugarland pre-sale for the makeup concert from the Indiana State Fair tragedy…ticketed fairgoers were suppose to have a special pre-sale of their own (without the sale part- tickets were suppose to be free for them) yet why was a news station able to take advantage of the special sale?

It’s really disappointing and the more I think about it the more disappointed (and ANGRY) I get.

Are you going to the race at Charlotte on Saturday? If you are in the area be sure to check out Tony’s autograph appearance at Office Depot in nearby Huntersville, NC tomorrow October 12th!  The address for the location is: 9530 Birkdale Crossing Drive, Huntersville, NC and he will be there starting at approximately 4:00 PM local time.  A wristband is required and  will be available starting at 8AM local time at the above location and are limited to the first 600 fans. There will be one wristband per person, one autograph per wristband!  Fans with a wristband must be in line no later than 5PM local time to receive an autograph.  The #14 Office Depot Impala show car will be at the location starting at 1:00 PM local time.

Have a great time!

Warning: Thar be curse words ahead…ones that start with F so if you are sensitive to that (even though they are totally necessary) here is a link to a picture of Roxy (my adorable beagle) in my Flickr account that you can look at instead of reading this post that has a few F-words in it (I really did try to write this without the curse words…but it doesn’t have the same impact nor did it feel as cathartic):

There is a reason I don’t post my race reviews directly after races.  It’s not that I don’t have the time, I usually do, unless there is some sort of weather delay or something that has made the race eat up a majority or my day. The reason I don’t post directly (same thing with why I don’t live blog races) would be because if I had posted right after the Kansas 2 race it would have read something like this: (more…)

We Fix Computers will be on the hood of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Tony Stewart at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

The phrase WE FIX COMPUTERS will grace the hood of Tony Stewart’s  chevy this weekend at Kansas Speedway.  Do not be concerned Smoke fans- he has not taken a second job in the technology field (although if he wants to give a go -he can swap jobs with me for a couple hours)! He is advertising sponsor Office Depot’s Tech Depot.  The Tech Depot is at your office depot to help you get your computer in top shape so it can work for you.

One of the best deals? They offer a FREE computer tune up- which helps boost startup and shutdown speeds, removes unwanted files and checks for
computer for viruses. And your computer is guarenteed to be ready by the next day.  Did I mention it’s FREE?

TV Panel of the "We Fix Computers" Office Depot's Tech Depot Chevy. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

Let’s hope that this WE FIX COMPUTERS paint scheme is as fast as it looks!

#KeepDiggingTony in Kansas- lets get our third win of the season and the chase:

We Fix Computers. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

So here are some little snippits of things that have been rolling around in my brain today- things that I wanted to share but didn’t necessarily need a post of it’s own. Some are NASCAR related…some are not. That is just how my brain rolls. (more…)

Hey Dorothy Tony’s not in Kansas anymore- instead he’s doing an autograph appearance at Office Depot in Blue Springs MO (Ok that sounded funnier in my head) on October 6th.  The Office Depot is located at 450 NW State Route 7 in Blue Springs.  As always a wristband is required for the event- one wristband per person- one autograph per wristband. The wristbands will be given away starting at 8:00 am local time at the location.  Tony will be there at approximately 4:00 pm local time.

These events are always great fun.  There will even be a show car at the location starting at 1:00 pm.  Show up early and have fun while you are there!  Remember to tell Tony to #KeepDiggingTony!!!

Was it just me or was that race at Dover about 150 laps too long?  Maybe it was just me because when my driver doesn’t do so well I get grumpy about it and the Dover race wasn’t the best for the Tony and the 14 team.  I remember hearing Tony say that Dover was one of the chase tracks that they were concerned with- so I wasn’t surprised to see the team struggle with handling issues.  I do NOT like it when my driver finishes a lap down…and it makes me uber cranky when he finishes more than a lap down.  The car was ill handling the entire weekend as obvious by Tony’s practice speeds, qualifying effort and race. I wasn’t listening to the radio so I don’t know the exacts of HOW the handling was but but I honestly don’t think it matters much. They were bad. They know they were bad. According to the team report for Dover, Darian says that they have been routinely bad at concrete tracks:

The biggest thing is just that we don’t have the concrete tracks figured out yet. It’s obvious. At Bristol and Dover, we’ve just struggled for three years now with Tony there. We just need to figure out what we need to do. It’s not because of a lack of effort. We’re going to keep trying to find a few things and keep fighting.” Darian Grubb, Crew Chief of the #14 Chevy Impala.

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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.