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Misty and Amy In the Car

Posting here on BadGroove will be light while we are gone! Please head over to Twitter: @BadGroove (Amy) and @Fyrstorm24 (Misty) or to Amy’s Facebook for updates while we are gone!

See you all next week.

Mark Martin piloting the 14 at Texas

Mark Martin drives the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

I am going to be the first to admit I was a little distracted during the race in Texas for multiple reasons but mainly I had been running around on Saturday trying to get all the stuff I needed done and taken care of because I am heading off for Phoenix Wednesday so during commercials I was doing exciting things like laundry.

Team 14 in action

(This is a cool view isn’t it? –amy) The crew of the number 14 services the Bass Pro Chevy piloted by Mark Martin in Tony Stewart’s stead. (Photo Credit: Official Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- Click Picture for the original)

And wouldn’t you know it the one day that I decide to forgo listening to the scanner that the 14 has a fairly decent run! (more…)

If you’ve been reading for awhile- you know that I reviewed author the first two books in Simon Wood’s racing thriller series here on BadGroove a couple months ago. As I mentioned in the review, I rather enjoyed both DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT and expanded out to Simon’s other “non racing” books.  I am excited that Simon was kind enough to answer some questions for me for BadGroove. So without further adieu:

BG: Did you always want to be a writer? Did you have a proclivity towards writing as a child?

Simon: No, not at all.  I’m dyslexic so I avoided the written word like the plague.  I wanted to draw.  I was a daydreamer coming up with stories but I didn’t begin writing until I was thirty.

BG: Your bio mentions you are a sometimes private investigator. How did you get into private investigation work?

Simon: When I moved to the US, I couldn’t get a job.  My wife and I were living pretty close to the breadline so we were looking to supplement our income so we responded to an ad to become mystery shoppers.  We “shopped” cinemas, electronic stores, fast food joints, etc.  We did well enough that we kept being bumped up the food chain moving to restaurants, to hotels and to finally casinos.  Once we started working in Vegas, we had to get PI licenses.

BG: Does being a “sometimes private investigator” help with being a writer- especially in the suspense/thriller genre?

Simon: To be honest, most of the work was pretty sedate and detail oriented.  The only thing we did have to do was come up with a lot of cover stories as we were undercover a lot of time.  The best thing about the job is all the people watching I got to do.

BG: Who are a couple of your favorite authors and/or books?

Simon: I’m a big Reginald Hill & Raymond Chandler fan.  But I would say my biggest influence is Hitchcock.  He understood human frailty and he liked to poke it with a stick and I like that.

Simon’s books DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT are the first two installments that follow Aidy Westlake, a young racer with a pension for finding trouble. Since Simon is an ex-race car driver I wondered how his experience factored into the personality of Aidy.

BG: Did you always want to be a racer? How did you get into it? (more…)

The 14 reflected at Martinsville

Mark Martin drives the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet out of the garage area during practice at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2013. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

I love Martinsville. There is something about that little paperclip shaped track that makes the racing exciting. This track is HIGH on my list of must visit tracks. Really high.  Quarters are close both on track and on pit road- which makes it easy to slip up. Restart wrong? And you might be getting lapped in a few minutes.  Another car short pitting might block you into your stall and cost you to go from 3rd to 23rd while you try to jockey out of your pitstall.  The cars are in constant danger of contact- and while some of the “rubbing” is unintentional- sometimes- just sometimes it is intentional and nothing will piss you off more that to have your driver intentionally wrecked.   But one of the good things about Martinsville- is that you can bang your car up a bit- and still be in contention for the win as long as you don’t let your temper get too out of hand and end up collecting yourself in the drama.  However, It’s not just the drivers that are in danger of constant contact- just ask race winner Jeff Gordon’s tire carrier who got clipped (by I think Denny Hamlin but I don’t remember) a car on pit road during a pit stop. (more…)

Cars on track at Laguna Seca

This picture has nothing to do with the post other than it’s a favorite of cars on track at Laguna Seca that I have taken. This was taken during the 2012 ALMS race in what I believe is turn 7 but I could be wrong about the turn number. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So several weeks ago I promised you all a story at the end of this post about the first Chase race. Really it’s the story of my first ever race…and I am not talking my first NASCAR race.

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away- back when the IRL series was known as the CART series, my dad decided that my fandom of motorsports was not a flash in the pan and I think secretly he was thrilled.  The Indy cars were coming to Laguna Seca- which is very close to where we lived.  At the time I was into that series (I lost interest in it when CART split into IRL and CHAMP and half of my favorite drivers went one way and half went the other way). Since I had always shown a love of racing and specifically CART at the time- my dad laid down what I know was big bucks for him at the time for weekend grandstand tickets in Turn 11 as well as weekend paddock passes for the two of us for the race in Monterey.  I was a teenager at the time- so it was probably somewhere around 1990-1991 I think.  My parents even excused my absence from school so that we could take full advantage of our weekend tickets. (more…)

While I didn’t watch the truck race at Talladega- I did hear about the last lap melee that ensued and it had me sitting down on Sunday with my usual trepidation about Talladega. I know you probably think I kid but this track makes me very very nervous. From what I heard of the ending of the truck race- I had every reason to be worried.  Luckily there wasn’t anything major that happened. Well if you don’t count Austin Dillon’s little flight on the last lap.

Austin Dillon, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

(more…)

I didn’t really watch the race at Charlotte (I know- shock and surprise) but it sounds like to me if I was going to pick a race not to watch the Charlotte one was the one to miss.

Here are some pictures from the race though:

Mark Martin, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images North America)

(more…)

In my journeys on the internet last night I found some fun Mobil 1 related stuff that I wanted to share!

The first comes from Mobil 1 Racing’s The Grid- it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Jenson Button/Tony Stewart Mobil 1 commercials:

What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall during those shoots (I am unclear if Jenson and Tony were ever actually in the same room as each other- for some reason I get the impression that perhaps they weren’t).  But I would still like to be a fly on the wall of BOTH of the shoots if indeed they weren’t. Judging by some of the clips they show- either some really funny stuff got cut out or perhaps (fingers crossed) another commercial is in the works.

Also last night I was surfing a major news site that shall remained unnamed when I came across a news story out of Smithfield, VA.  The one and only Guinness Book of World Records recently certified the world’s biggest bottle of motor oil which happens to be at Smithfield Fast Lube.  That world record bottle just happens to be a really REALLY big bottle of Mobil 1 (there is a video included in the news article- I tried to embed it but for some reason the embed code they gave would not work for me).  I think I heard them say that the bottle is 400 times bigger than the standard Mobil 1 bottle that you can pick up at your local automotive parts retailers and “contains 757 litres” (not sure how much that is in gallons) of new Mobil 1 motor oil that they install into the cars having their oil refreshed.  That is a lot of oil!  I wonder how long it would take them to go through the whole bottle.