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When I am at Target (my favorite store in the world) I usually stop by the collectible cards section and pick up a pack or three of NASCAR PressPass cards.  I don’t collect the whole set- mostly I am looking to score Tony cards.  Anyway in my last purchase at Target I actually won an autographed card of Brad Keselowski!  Don’t believe me? Here is the card:

I won Brad Keselowsi

I won Brad Keselowsi- sorry for the sucky camera phone pic.

I rarely win anything but I seem to be on a roll this year.

Sunday was a clear but blustery day at Texas Motor Speedway.  Team Office Depot/Old Spice started seventh on the starting grid and Stewart was soon quickly moving his Chevy Impala up the field as the race starts- and is in 3rd position by lap 30 of the race.  Because of the long initial green flag run – the field begins to cycle through a round of green flag pit stops starting around lap 50 and ending around lap 54.  Stewart stays out long enough to lead a lap before coming in for his service coming out third. Stewart quickly begins working his way up the field again and soon he passes Matt Kenseth to take the lead when Kenseth gets a little loose. The first caution of the day, due to debris- no doubt because of the wind, has Tony coming in to pit from first place- a slight miscue by the pit crew caused him to lose valuable time in the pits- dropping him two places down to third on his way out. Stewart remained consistent throughout the day- maintaining no further back than the top ten.  The Office Depot/Old Spice pit crew rebounded quite well from their early race miscue and was then able to get Stewart out efficiently and quickly at the end of the race- when track position was most valuable.

Said Stewart, in his post race team release, of the crew:

“Our guys had a couple rough spots on pit road in the beginning, so I just calmed them down, told them to take a deep breath and just slow down a little bit.  They had great stops the rest of the day. I am proud of those guys they rebounded really well.”team release

Tony was able to keep his car in the top five- finishing in fourth after a late charge and pass by Greg Biffle.  Stewart advanced to fifth in the points standings.  Teammate Ryan Newman spent most of his day a lap down in positions 24th-26th- but was able to gain late in the race as well- getting not only his lap back but finishing 15th.  Jeff Gordon, was able to hold off an impressive blistering charge through the pack late in the race made by teammate Jimmie Johnson to win his first ever race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Other Notes about Texas:

  • Rookie Joey Logano had an impressive qualifying effort at Texas- unfortunately his performance in the race wasn’t quite up to par- and at one point smacked the right side of the car pretty hard against the outside wall.
  • Jr. missed his pit stall again at Texas.  Maybe they should have someone stand in front of his pitboard and jump up and down?  Does his crew chief not count him down when he is entering?  When Tony was with Greg Zipadelli I know Greg would always start with “Ok you are 10 away…5 away, turn in…wheels straight put on the brake” I don’t know if Darian does the same thing for Tony- I assume so.
  • During the pre-show Chris Myers mentioned kind of off-handedly that a driver makes no fewer than 50 decisions a lap during a race.  Can you imagine trying to make 50 decisions going 180 mph- per lap?
  • One of the big news items this week is that NASCAR will be taking the first place car, the second place car’s engine and a random finisher’s car back to the R&D center to do post race inspection- instead of doing it right there at the track.  Does this mean they will be looking harder at the cars and engines?  Or do they think that the inspectors will be fresher after NOT having been at the track all day? Either way it’s an interesting and sudden decision.
  • The other big news is that NASCAR is either heavily considering or has already decided to move the end of year banquet from New York to Las Vegas.  Personally? I think it’s a great idea because I am so there. SO THERE.
  • Aric Armirola can be added to the newest list of drivers possibly out of a ride sooner rather than later.  It was mentioned on the pre-show that if a sponsor is not found by the Phoenix race for Armirola the Earnhardt Ganassi shop will pear down its three car operation down to a two car operation retaining drivers Martin Truex Jr and Juan Pablo Montoya. Armirola joins the likes of Kvapil and Gilliland who are in similar situations.
Next week is an off weekend for NASCAR- the weekend after Easter has NASCAR back in the desert at PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.

MI-5 – 4/3 asks 5 party themed questions and because its April 3rd, I am going to ask you to give 4 answers followed by 3 details

1. Just recently I started holding a monthly ‘Game Night’ to help give friends an excuse to get out of the house and get together. We kicked it off with a Murder Mystery Party which was great fun, most recently we gathered to play a game of cards called “Bull Donkey” the laughter went on all night. Tell us 4 games you like to play and include either 3 things (memories, feelings, skills, commonalities etc.. related to them). I love games. I do. I am the game player in my family. Of course they will also tell you I am fiercely competetive. I don’t think I am but…any for the answer: Ticket to Ride: Europe(this is a great game because it is interactive, quick moving and I love the network building mechanic), Carcassonne (I love this game because of the puzzle piece mechanic of it, the interaction and strategy), Lost Cities (a great two player game, has lots of strategy and is quick moving), Canasta (fun, traditional, lots of variations).

2. When thinking of throwing a party what 4 people are always at the top of your list and tell us 3 things about them that put them there. BFM (best friend, funny, supportive), Dad (funny, good barbecuer and every party needs a bbq, life of party), Mom (good cooker, also funny, good at getting people to mix), Will-brother (very funny, witty, just entertaining- has lots of great stories)

3. Most parties include food, share with us 4 favorite party dishes but only 3 adjectives to describe each one. Dad’s Salsa (fresh! Spicy! Delicious), Tortilla rollups (creamy, spicy, addictive), Clam dip (creamy, yummy, mine), Teriyaki Chicken Wings (warm, sticky, sweet)

4. Think back over your years and pick 4 parties you have been a part of and tell us 3 things about those parties. (What was it for, what did you wear, who did you see, how did you feel, what did you eat, what made you laugh, what happened, why did you go etc..) I am so NOT a party person that I can’t even think of that many parties.  Of course I did just attend my nephew’s first birthday party…I ate chicken and steak and potato salad and green salad.

5. A popular ice breaker at parties is “The Guessing Game” where you write down words that describe someone and people have to guess who that is. Pick one person from the MI-5 list and give us 4 words that describes them. Then choose a person place & thing that reminds you of that person. (making a total of 7 words) We can all make our guesses during the week, just please let us know who it was by next Friday. Four Words: creative, musical, caring, honest. Person:Bobby Labonte   Place: Ocean  Thing: paper

And Now Friday Fill-in 118:

1. Angel or not, I will not be persuaded.

2. I’ll come any way you want me.

3. As my mother used to say, you’re full of pudding pops.

4. I feel energized after I’m done working out or doing something strenuous.

5. Even in the most crowded of rooms I want to escape.

6. Monday is a day fraught with peril.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include finishing up the laundry and Sunday, I want to watch Stewart-Haas racing have a great finish at Texas Motorspeedway!

For some reason I just am out of blogging juice these last couple of days. So to pacify you…some pictures from my Nephew’s bday (these are NOT taken by me but by my father…his grandpa): (more…)

After a weekend where two of the three practices and the qualifying session were rained out the weather looked beautiful for Sunday’s race at Martinsville.  Martinsville is the shortest track on the circiut but Sunday’s Goody’s 500 was definitely not short on action. I personally, thought Sunday’s race was one of the best this season.

Of course part of that could be because both Stewart-Haas Racing drivers, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman had top ten finishes. Tony finishing the day with an awesome third place finish- the best for Stewart-Haas Racing so far this season.  Ryan Newman finished the day in 8th place- a personal best for his since beginning his tenure at Stewart-Haas racing at the beginning of this season.  Both Tony and Ryan’s teams seemed to be working quite well on Pit Road despite the inherient cramp conditions in the Martinsville pits as well as having some non-choice pitstalls.

Since qualifying was rained out – the field lined up by points.  Initially Jeff Gordon, who started on the pole since he leads the points race right now, took the lead and seemed to stay in the lead a good portion of the race.  His only challenger seemed to be Denny Hamlin- who also looked fairly strong. His car seemed to get stronger while Gordon’s handling seem to fade late in the race- causing him to have a fourth place finish. In the end- it was a shootout between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson- with the two swapping the lead back and forth several times during the last 22 laps or so. At one point during the swapping back and forth of the lead, Hamlin and Johnson were both practically sideways side by side in the turn.  In the end- Jimmie Johnson was able to get his first cup win of the season.

More Notes on Martinsville:

  • Best Work In of A Sponsor Product: Comes from Saturday’s Practice telecast on SPEEDTv where journalist said to Tony Stewart “This really stinks doesn’t it?” talking about the weather- and Tony retorted “It DOES NOT stink because we have OLD SPICE as a sponsor so it does NOT stink!”
  • Tony was apparently cussing at himself during the end of the race: “I was just cussing at myself because I wasn’t close enough to do anything about it.”
    Tony Stewart, on the winning pass (third)
  • I love how now that Rick Hendrick has been quoted as supporting Tony Eury Jr as Crew Chief for Dale Jr- that the Fox Commentators (I think it was DW) are now stating that part of the reason that Dale is having poor finishes is Tony Stewart’s fault because he recruited Darian Grubb away from HMS.  Um…no.
  • I was glad to hear that even Jeff Gordon gets frustrated during a race- as he threatened to “knock his head off” if Denny (or it might have been Tony- I thought Tony when I first heard it but my friend says no he was talking about Denny) he bumped him again.
  • I had no idea Joey Logano was so tall- (direct from my notes after seeing him standing next to Greg Zipadelli during the national anthem.)
  • Poor Kyle just couldn’t catch a break this race- seemed he was spinning more times than a hula hoop! Neither could Matt Kenseth- always a driver or six short of being the lucky dog.
  • Was it my imagination or did Jeff Gordon slight Tony Stewart’s third place finish in his post race interview?  Jeff felt he had at least a third place car…but he finished fourth (and maintained his points lead).

Next Week: Texas Motor Speedway.

Since the nomiated MI-5er was not feeling good this week Lisa kindly stepped up to the plate and provided us with this quick MI-5 where she said we could be as brief or as wordy as we want to be. Thanks Lisa.
1.  Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke, Coke Zero, or Diet Coke with Lime- depending on my mood.  Sometimes if I am feeling frisky I will have a Cherry Coke Zero.
2.  Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate? Milk chocolate all the way. I don’t like Dark Chocolate at all.
3.  Rain or Snow? Well I prefer sun but definitely rain.  Snow and I…we just don’t get along. Of course I have only been in it about three times in my entire life so…
4.  Mountains or Seashore?  Well I can do either- but I am really a seashore girl at heart.
5.  Catnap or Long Nap? Depends…I don’t often get naps and when I do they are usually short…but I like a good long one now and then- especially if I don’t feel well.

Here is Friday Fill-in 117

This week, I took the first sentence in 6 of my favorite books…you fill them in…with the right words or even better, ones of your own.

And…here we go!

1. “In a hole in the ground there lived a mole.”

2. “She was actually a naked mole rat but that ain’t no matter.”

3. “After dark the rain began to fall again, and her hole began to fill with water.”

4. “It was water rushing in like from the hold of the (sinking) Spanish galleon she saw on tv.”

5. “There was a hand in the darkness, and it lifted the little mole rat right out of her flooding hole.”

6. “Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, and this little naked mole rat was probably the most unsuspecting molerat ever.”

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to wrapping a present, tomorrow my plans include my nephews first birthday party (even though he officially turned one on tuesday) and Sunday, I want to watch Tony win at Martinsville- come on Team Office Depot/OldSpice!

So today I have for you- a virtual Tony Stewart grab bag of news. I was going to call this entry a Tony Stewart Cornucopia but that invokes an image of fall.  I tend to post all news on stewarthaasfan.com and don’t think to post it here or talk about it here- so here are some Tony Stewart notes for you.  Anyways…here we go: (more…)