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I was given three copies of FULL THROTTLE ADRENALINE Volumes 1 & 2 on DVD.  One is for me to review (expect that up later this week) but two of them are for YOU!!!  That’s right…I finally have something exciting to give away to my readers. Two of my lucky lucky readers will win copies of FULL THROTTLE ADRENALINE (volumes 1&2). How do you enter for your chance to win one of these copies? Just expand the entry to read how the giveaway works…and good luck!

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I happen to catch Tony and Joe Gibbs on the TNT prerace show quite by accident. TNT’s prerace coverage starts so long before the race that I usually don’t catch it. It was good to see they are amicable in their split at thet end of the season. Joe Gibbs even joked with Tony about agreeing to pull over when he sees the 20 car in his rearview mirror next season.

Now the actual race was the inaugural running of the Chicagoland race under the lights. It was a good race- mostly incident free race that had Tony running up in the top ten and top five for most of the race, even when he was fighting an ill-handling car. Greg Zipadelli worked with Stewart throughout the race to try to improve the car. All the communications that I heard between the two on the HotPass SD channel were very positive sounding. I was hoping to see Tony win at Chicago land…but it was not to be. Instead Kyle took another win. Last season by this time I was sick of seeing someone from HMS in the winners circle for what seemed like EVERY weekend. Now I am starting to feel the same way about Kyle. Jimmie Johnson did give him a good run for his money there at the end…but in the end Johnson just didn’t have enough to fend off the 18 car. Team Home Depot came in 5th, rising them to 10th in the standings for The Chase.

Other Notes About Chicagoland:

  • Brenden Fraiser gave a most excellent command to start engines. And he sure was excited to be there with Ryan Newman.
  • I am going to totally admit right here…I did not understand what JJ Yeley’s penalty was for. Something about weight…but no really a waterbag?
  • I did not care for the Larry Mac Magic Show. What did that have to do with racing? Don’t get me wrong- I tend to love his commentary on the races but the magic show? That was just really lame.
  • Did you see the new Tony Stewart Commercial for subway where he was climbing the fence all the way into space? That was funny.
  • Was I the only one who thought Carl Edwards should have been black flagged when his splitter broke and was basically grinding away on the front end of the car?

Remember- next week is an off week and then its the race in Indianapolis. I would really REALLY love to see team Home Depot end up in the winners circle there!

 

Ok- So I have owned the HHR for well over 7 months now.  When I sit in her she now feels like she is mine.  I still want to have flames painted on her- graphite ones- but I think that will have to wait because any spare money I have lately has been going into the gas tank.

 

Things I Love About The HHR:

  • Leather Seats
  • Seat Warmers
  • The fact that its not black
  • Privacy glass
  • Sun Roof
  • The fact that its not black
  • The AUX jack
  •  Seats that fold completely flat
  • The fact that its not black
  • The cargo net
  • The cargo shelf

I could really go on and on but I think that you get the picture.  however there are a couple of things I don’t like about the HHR.

 

Things that bother me slightly about the HHR (but not enough to make me regret buying it..cuz I don’t:

  • The location of the cup holders in proximity the parking break. When I set the parking break sometimes this dislodges my venti iced black tea lid.  This causes tea to dribble in my car. I don’t like tea dribble.
  • There are two HUGE blindspots I had to get use to after driving the Rav (which was pretty much had no blind spots).
  • The fact that the pimped up model has a bigger engine and thus suckier gas mileage then the one I rented.
  • The glove box is way too small.
  • My sister-in-law called it a soccer mom car…BLECK. I am not a mom and I don’t like soccer. So boo on that.

The only things I have done to the HHR to make it “mine”:

  • One 20 sticker on the back window (which will be peeled off and replaces with an new sticker with the appropriate number after the end of the racing season).
  • Tony Stewart license plate frame.
  • I put the standard factory mats in storage and use the Husky Liners I got for my birthday.  I am hell on mats when it comes to cars. In the Rav I actually wore a hole through the drivers one within the first couple years I had it.  I then got Husky liners for the front of the Rav and loved  them. My parents purchased me a set for the front and a cargo liner for the back for my birthday. I pink puffy heart my husky liners.

Overall…I am still very very happy with my HHR and I love it.

 

 

First up the Friday Fill-in #80

1. Oh, I can’t wait until I have these two baby bunting done so I can get my life back.

2. All the space is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator (its brand new-home depot delivered it yesterday).

3. I never leave home without a camera and a cell phone.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be honey mustard because then I would love myself.

5. People who insist on throwing in their title (Dr.Soandso) to try to impress me or get what they want is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was “Crap now I am gonna have to peel the 20 sticker off my back window at the end of the season- oh well at least its not a tattoo.”

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to balancing my checkbook (oh what fun), tomorrow my plans include watching Tony win the very first Chicagoland under the lights race and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

And now is Lisa’s MishMash MI-5 meme:

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Admittedly I am still digesting the whole Tony leaving JGR…and as I mentioned I am most upset about the severing of the driver/crewchief relationship Tony and Greg have had the last 10 years. However- i am going to watch the news conference and try to decide what I think about what’s said. I am going to try to watch it at work…this may be easier said than done depending on our call volume at the office.  SpeedTV has said that it will break in with the conference so just in case I did some DVRing so that I can hopefully catch it either way. So for now…I present you with:

My Favorite Pictures of my Nephew so far:

Ok so I wasn’t born on a Wednesday I was actually born on a Monday…however today IS Wednesday and I am slightly woeful today.

So Tony is moving to Haas…kind of (the press conference is tomorrow and you can watch on NASCAR.COM if you are so inclined). It will actually be renamed Stewart-Haas Racing according to things I have read so far.  There’s mumblings that this will make him the highest paid driver. I honestly don’t care how much money he makes (I am sure he does though…and who can blame him.  I mean I am sure he doesn’t care how much I make…but I sure as hell care how much I make…savvy? Its just not important to me as fan). Regardless if its the money, the fact that he will be an owner (and thus a legacy after he stops driving), or the fact that its a Chevrolet thing, I hope Tony Stewart is happy in his move and that works out for him and his plans and dreams. I am not going sit here in front of my keyboard and tell you that he won’t be my favorite driver any more because honestly, as my BFF would tell you, I have been a fan for a LONG time and that would be a lie. I will tell you, however, that I will miss orange and black (I won’t be able to call him Big Orange anymore) and miss the affiliation with Home Depot. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…I will follow Tony no matter who he drives for or what he drives. If he thought he could win in a 1974 Datsun I would cheer for him. A John Deere Tractor? I would be dressed head to toe in green (not yellow- I don’t look good in yellow). But none of these things are what  makes me saddest about the whole thing.

What does? Its the fact that my crew chief and my driver are breaking up. That’s right. My favorite crew cheif and my favorite driver will no longer be on the same race team. Now I kind of know the predictament my friend is in. Her favorite driver is Jeff Gordon but her favorite crew chief is Chad Knaus…but at least they all work for Hendrick Motorsports. Greg Zipadelli is going to stay with Joe Gibbs Racing and I harbor no ill will or resentment there- I am sure he has reasons he wants to stay. It just makes me sad.  So sad I called my friend when I went to lunch to “cry” on her shoulder about it. I say “cry” but a more apt term would probably be bitch. There were no tears, just lots of complaining but that is what friends are for and she would be the first person to tell you that.  I can tell you though, I really REALLY want Tony to win the Cup now- just because it would be the PERFECT way to end a REALLY GOOD THING.

My hopes for next season right now are:

  • That Tony gets a good sponsor…preferable one with red so I don’t have to change my layout (thanks for pointing that out Trixie!)
  • That Tony gets a good crew chief
  • That Greg gets a good driver

Cheering for my favorites next season just got WAY more complicated.

ESPN is reporting tonight that Tony Stewart will announce Wednesday that Joe Gibbs Racing has released him from his 2009 contract and that Tony WILL indeed partner with Haas to form StewartHaas racing.

First off- did you have a good Fourth of July? Did you come back to me with all your fingers and toes and with no singed hair? Don’t make me count the fingers and toes.  Here the Fourth was quieter than normal. I guess the stern warnings from police and fire officials made the difference.  Roxy still freaked out at the few that did go off…pacing the house, whining and occasionally barking…but it was all good. Either way I hope you had a great one- whether you celebrate or not.

The July race at Daytona will always be the Firecracker 400 to me  just like Infineon Raceway will always be Sears Point, and Mazda raceway will always be Laguna Seca. Anyway- I digress.  I snuggled myself in on the couch to watch the race, alone since everyone else was across the street watching the UFC fights at my brother’s house.  The race on Saturday night was a good race to watch. There was some exciting racing- especially since a lot of the “go-or-go-home”ers qualified in the front with many of the usual contenders qualifying midpack or further back.  Tony being no exception, qualifying at 17th.

Despite finding out that Tony wasn’t feeling well during the pre-race show, he seemed to charge well up through the pack cracking the top 5 in no time.   I even thought to myself, probably a little too excitedly, “Could this be Team Home Depot’s Night??” Tony seemed to stay in the top 5 and during pitstops the team seemed pretty much flawless from what I could see.  What I could hear of the team communications on the SD Hot pass channel- which admittedly wasn’t much- all team communications sounded good.  Then Tony dropped back to about 15th after a move to avoid hitting Kyle and a slight scrape of the wall (two different incidents) .  After that it seemed that Tony just was not able to gain any ground.  Then during a caution around lap 70 or 71 I heard Tony radio in to his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli and ask him if they did indeed have someone available to “help him out.” After verifying that Stewart did indeed need out of the car, the home depot pit crew sprang into action.  Zipadelli made sure that car chief Jason Shapiro knew his job was to make sure replacement driver, J.J. Yeley was buckled into Stewart’s car good and tight.  By the time Stewart was driving down pit road (under caution) he already had his gloves off and as soon as he stopped the car he was throwing off his restraints.  Stewart’s spotter Mark Robertson, kept the crew advised as to where the pace car was at all times, often throwing out comments like “we have plenty of time.” I also have to say that I don’t know who actually pulled Stewart from the car (I couldn’t tell from the camera angle)- but it was an impressive display all the same, because in one swoop Stewart was grabbed around the waist and drug out of the car and all the way back to the pit wall. It was extremely well choreographed for an extremely non-typical type of pit stop.  Yeley, who was wearing borrowed home depot equipment- including one of Tony’s helmets, was quickly snapped into Tony’s car and the team quickly completed the pitstop sending Yeley on his way.

It seemed to take Yeley awhile to get a feel for the car- but I can only imagine that its like sitting in someone else’s passenger car only worse since you can’t really adjust anything but the tightness of the belts…oh and while you are at it? You are wearing someone else’s clothes and a helmet.  After awhile though, Yeley seemed to get a handle on the car and he, too, was able to move it up through the field and found himself within the top ten by the end of the race, staying there pretty consistantly, until a wreck on the last lap of the green-white-checker, where he was collected in the big one.  Yeley, however, was able to keep Stewart within the chase, even if he did drop three spots into 12th.

Other notes about the Firecracker 400 CokeZero400:

  • Color me impressed with David Gilliand’s performance  in the number 38 car.  Unfortunately his 40th placed finish due to  a bad pit stop as well as some other bad luck on track didn’t show it- but he had a competitive car for a good portion of the race.
  • I loved TNT’s limited commercial breaks. I liked being able to see the race even when they had those Coke Zero commercials in the lower corner.  This was a good thing- and reminded me of hotpass.
  • Speaking of the new coke zero commercials. My favorite was the one where Jeff Burton hugs the two coke employees. Funny stuff.
  • Even I was heartbroken for Jeff Gordon who was also having a stellar run, but unfortunately got turned late in the race.
  • The nascar.com poll is “Knowing he had a car good enough to win, should Tony Stewart have stayed in his car instead of giving it to J.J. Yeley?” Um…I don’t know what 25% of the nascar.com readers are thinking, but Tony himself said “once the car got a little bit loose and we had to start really sawing on the wheel, it’s like it zapped the energy out of me and I started making mistakes” Mistakes at nearly 200 mph? Those can be deadly. I applaud him for knowing his limits and getting out before something bad happened. I can only hope he feels better in time for Chicago.
  • For those interested, The Tony Stewart Live Fan Appreciation show has been postponed for a Best Of show due to illness.