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I know I make no bones about being a Tony Stewart fan- but I have to share this with my readers who might be taking in the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas or Dale Earnhardt Jr Fans (I know I have a couple Jr Fans out there right?). Your favorite 2014 Daytona 500 Champ and mine just happens to be running a really cool new paint scheme on his #88 Chevy this coming weekend.  If you have read here for awhile you know I have two things I love to post about and those are driver helmet designs and alternate paint schemes.

But before we get to the pictures- I want to tell you how you can kickstart your race weekend in Las Vegas! If you are going to be in Las Vegas this Wednesday March 5th, 2014 a seven-foot Mtn Dew Kickstart slot machine will be on the plaza outside the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip offering players (21 and older only) the chance to win exciting prizes that are sure to KickStart their night. One lucky, grand prize winner will win a meet-and-greet experience during the Mtn Dew Kickstart party at Koi Restaurant and Lounge (located inside the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino) with Dale Jr., who will be on-site to reward the winner. The party on Wednesday at Koi Restaurant and Lounge is available to the public (also those 21 and older only) with no cover charge, until capacity is reached.  Doors open at 7p.m. and close at 11p.m.

I think this is one of the nicer Dale Earnhardt Junior paint schemes I have seen in recent memory for a primary sponsor. It’s the Mtn Dew KickStart Your Night paint scheme and here is a sneak peak of the car:

KickStart Your Night Hood

The hood of the #88 Mtn Dew KickStart Your Night car to be driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr in Las Vegas, NV this weekend (Photo Courtesy of PepsiCo).

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The 14 Crew Services the #14

The pit crew of the #14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy service the car during a routine pitstop at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo Credit: The Official Tony Stewart Website).

Qualified: 20th

Finished: 16th

Points Standings: 20th

It’s always hard for me to watch races from Phoenix from home- because I like that track- A LOT.  Unfortunately time off from the day job dictates that I had to pick a race between Phoenix and Vegas since they are back-to back; and well I always choose Vegas. (more…)

Tony At Phoenix

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, walks in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on February 28, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

TQMS (which stands for The Quotable Mr. Stewart) will be a new weekly feature here on BadGroove for Saturday morning. Usually the quotes will come from that weeks team advance or media presser for that week (as is the case this week)- just something that for some reason caught my eye. This week I am going to start with TWO quotes- one from the Team race advance and one from his media session:

“I think I’ m pretty tough, honestly. Every injury is different for everybody. No two people have exactly the same injuries, and I’ve never had anything like this happen, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. The confidence you get from it is from your surgeon and from your therapist, and they’re saying, “Wow, we can’t believe how good this looks or how good you’re feeling or how good of progress you’re making. I’ve got guys that shoot me straight. They’re not just saying these things to motivate me. They’re just saying we didn’t expect you to be able to do this at this time. Being able to have those personal gains and victories keeps us pretty motivated.” — Tony Stewart, Spring 2014 Phoenix Race Advance.

“I’ll be honest, I’ll be more happy when everybody quits asking me how I feel.  I’m not 100 percent.  I’m not going to be 100 percent for a while.  It was fine.  There wasn’t any drama, same as we said for the shootout, same as we said for the qualifying race and same as we said after the (Daytona) 500.  I appreciate everybody checking on me, but it’s not going to change in a week.  It wasn’t a big drama, everything is fine.  Everything is fine in the car this week so far.  Hopefully, we will be able to talk a year from now about how far we have come.”  — Tony Stewart, Spring 2014 Phoenix Press Conference

#GoTonyGo #14in14 #StandWithSmoke

 

I love this first hand account of the @jeffgordonweb prank from @tokulski- #NASCAR #epic

Jeff Gordon’s Epic Prank – Must See!

Jeff Gordon pranks a fan by taking over insane cab ride!


Sponsored by: NASCAR inGEAR

Bristol, CT – February 25, 2014 – Studio E: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the set of Mike and Mike (Photo Credit: by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

I am going to admit right here that I was rooting for Dale Earnhardt Jr at the end of the Daytona 500.  After all- my driver was clearly out of the running (you’ll get ‘em next year Smoke) and I mean- it’s Dale Earnhardt Jr for goodness sakes.  However- who could have predicted the BUZZ that would come from his 500 win- most of it was the buzz he created himself by up and joining the ranks of those who tweet.

I think it’s a great move honestly because fans love and crave the fun driver interaction that twitter creates.  And this video of Dale reading some of his fan’s tweets is hilarious and shows a side of Dale Earnhardt’s personality that fans don’t usually get to see (which for the record I actually noticed during his segment of NASCAR After The Lap during Champions Week in Vegas last year):

Anyway- with all the online buzz that Dale Jr has caused since his win last Sunday it does NOT surprise me in the least to find out that his Daytona Win Diecast (currently available as a preorder from LionelRacing.com)was the highest selling of any previous win cars- including his own Dark Knight Rises Michigan win car from 2012!  It sold more than DOUBLE any other win car- within 12 hours of his win!  I have heard that the car will even have the piece of debris that was stuck to his grill.

#GoTonyGo #14in14 #StandWithSmoke

Ahh its time for Fun With NASCAR ads.  I love NASCAR themed ads- whether they are advertising the sport or a particular sponsor nothing will make me pay more attention to an advertisement on television than to see a NASCAR tie in somewhere, somehow.

Case in point: A tire ad.  How many ways can there be to sell tires right? Pretty much show tires performing under adverse yet every day conditions- like in rain, in snow, and the like.  You don’t really think too much about the science that goes into tires.  Well this Goodyear ad does- by tying in the physics of racing with NASCAR.  And in it it just so happens that driver Kevin Harvick destroys teammate (and team owner) Tony Stewart’s trophy case in the name of illustrating tire science: (more…)

Tony Stewart in the garage at Daytona on February 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

This is one I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see!  Tony Stewart will be appearing with his racing idol/mentor AJ Foyt at the Budweiser ROLL-BAR at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday March 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am.

While you do have to pay to get into the ROLL-BAR- it’s worth it in this case. You also get a prerace pit pass for the day (Or weekend if you choose a whole weekend pass), food and drink vouchers, preferred parking, entertainment, driver appearances such as this one and other fun stuff. For more information or to purchase a ROLL-BAR pass check out the Budweiser ROLL-BAR page.

PS. If any of my readers happen to go to this event- I would love some pictures for BadGroove if you will share :-)

Working on the fuel cell

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images North America)

It’s a day that always begins with a ton of pomp and circumstance. No I am not talking about the Olympic closing ceremonies- I am talking the Daytona 500 (which ended up being the Nightona 500 after the Raintona 500 and the #AirTitan 500). It was the day that Smoke fans have been looking forward to for 7 months. The Daytona 500; aka the day Tony Stewart was back racing. Okay, so yeah technically he’d been racing for about a week if you count the non-points paying Sprint Unlimited and the field setting Budweiser Duels but this was a “real” race: A points race, A full-length race; and what turning to an all day- and part of the night race.

Tony qualified 21st but was forced to start from the rear of the field (as was Danica Patrick and Bobby Labonte). Don’t even get me going about that.  Why? Because of an “unscheduled engine change” because he suffered an engine issue during FIRST practice…you know the practice that is BEFORE the “Front Row Qualifying day” (the old CART fan in me keeps wanting to call it Pole day) and BEFORE the Budweiser Duels.  I could see penalizing him into starting at the back for his duel race- but the 500 too? Isn’t that double jeopardy- which is illegal?! Should be anyway.  But I digress.

Superspeedways make me nervous anyway. Knowing Tony’s in the back did NOTHING to assauge those nerves- mostly I was just hoping that Spotter Bob had extra powerful eagle eyes up there and could navigate Tony around the wrecks that would be inevitable. Yes I know he crashed during the Unlimited and was fine but I worry, because it’s one of the things I do best. Honestly- I would worry even if he didn’t have an injury. Because the kind of wrecks that Daytona (and you too Talladega) produce are usually violent (definitely cringe worthy). Case in point: The wreck where Danica smacked the wall but hard.  I mean OUCH.  And did I hear right- that she hit an area that didn’t have SAFER barrier? Why is there ANY spot on ANY track that isn’t edged in SAFER Barrier by now but especially a track like Talladega. Please someone tell me I heard wrong.

Tony in helmet

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

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