Because of the picture-intense race posts about the Shelby 427- I use the extend the entry function of wordpress- so people on dialup (I know you are still out there peeps- don’t be ashamed- I too am still doing the dialup) don’t have to wait six years for my page to load. Just FYI. Contine on with your regularly scheduled programming.
If you were keeping track- last year when we decided to go to the Vegas race, BFM woke up Thursday morning really sick- as in throwing up sick. We were going to go see Tony Stewart’s driver appearance at the local Home Depot and at her insistence I went anyway with her brother instead. That was the only driver appearance we got to that race. This year- however was quite the different beast. To begin with no one was too sick to go. Also there were tons of driver appearances – unfortunately it seemed that 85 percent of them were all at the same time (what is it with the Thursday from 4-6 time slot that the drivers love to use for their appearances?). I told BFM that since I got to see Tony at both races we went to last year that this year she could pick our driver appearances. So she picked:
Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Casey Mears. The major problem there? Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch were doing their appearances at the same time at separate ends of the Vegas Strip (Kahne was in the Stratosphere and Kyle Busch was at M&M World which was just down from the MGM Grand).
I honestly don’t remember what time we got to the track on Sunday- but I want to say probably around 9:00 again. We perused the midway- partaking in free COKE ZERO samples as well as getting free Bobby Labonte flash drives preinstalled with the ask.com nascar tool bar wiget thingy mabob. Mostly though we scoped out a place by the SPEED stage and waited. We were there solely to see Jeff Gordon’s interview by the PRN guys- but be cause we also got to see Richard Childress and Kyle Busch during their interviews and we got to watch Hermie Sadler film one of the cut-away car segments-which was fun too. I got a few mediocre pictures of Richard Childress and one of Jeff Gordon:
Surprise! I decided to get these out starting today so you wouldn’t be left wondering. Anyway last year the Vegas race (the UAW 400) was our first NASCAR race live and in person and this year BFM decided to take the reins in planning everything. I just wrote her a check when she told me how much our tickets would be. She picked the seats and the activities and everything…and let me tell you I had a total blast. She picked us some awesome seats in the Petty Terrace (right across from Pit Exit). I am going to have to break up my experience into three posts: Qualifying Day, Race Day and Driver Appearances otherwise you all would probably kill me for the length/picture ratio.
QUALIFYING DAY (Friday)
After our great time last year in the Neon Garage BFM and I decided that Qualifying day is the best day to have the garage passes (in Vegas the Garage passes are expensive…friday alone is $99.00 but both of us thing they are WELL worth it). We got to the track probably around 9:00 ish and spent a good portion of an hour and a half or so just messing around the midway checking out the merch haulers and stuff. The busiest haulers seemed to be Junior (no suprise), Tony (probably his fans stocking up on new merch) and Digger (yeah Digger has his own little merch booth). Then it was off to the neon garage:
Ok…I know you are all drooling and having fits because I STILL haven’t given you my race update from Vegas because I was there and have you know actual pictures and stuff to share…and I promise this will be published on Wednesday morning sometime.
Anyway- during the Atlanta race- right about the time I was considering giving up on Tony and crew and taking a nap- I mean it I seriously was bummed by being 2 laps down and all. Anyway- during that time my nephew came over for a few minutes for a visit. Now I haven’t given you all an update on him lately so consider this it.
He’s 11 and 1/2 months old. Anyway he came over and was busy crawling around and so I was distracted by watching him to make sure he didn’t try to do a header into the laundry basket (why is he so fascinated with my laundry basket) or trying to pull the dogs tail (not that she seems to care). Anyway my dad went and retreived a truck for him to play with while he was visiting and it was very interesting to say the least. He is semi-interested in TV for about three minutes and then its off to something else…anyway- he’s zooming this plastic singing truck around (which amazed me in itself because the last time I saw him play with the truck he flipped it upside down and just spun the tires with his hand). Anyway I was half watching him play and half watching the race and something on the race caught my eye…and I probably said something to the effect of YEY TONY GO or something like that (when he is visiting I TRY to keep the adult language to a minimum). And he whipped his little head towards me then towards the TV and then actually watched the race for a couple of minutes. Then went back to playing with his truck. I don’t know why it fascinated me but it was like he was actually watching the race because I obviously was so into it I was talking to the TV- so it must be something good.
Of course a little while later he successfully snagged my cell phone off the end table and tried to sneak off with it and expressed his frustration at the fact that I wouldn’t let him have my iced tea that he shrieked at me.
As a Tony Stewart fan I will tell you that the Atlanta race was extremely frustrating and I almost nearly gave up on it to take a nap. Tony seemed to nearly immediate fall backwards in the field. Ryan Newman seemed to be doing ok at first but he too seemed to start to go backwards instead of forward. And then…when that caution came out because Marcus Ambrose’s gasman (who was suspended for the duration of the race) decided to chase a tire half way to the track…causing NASCAR to throw a yellow flag. Well I knew that would screw Tony who had just pitted. Little did I know just how much it would screw him. And then Tony seemed to fall back even farther and farther and I admit that part of me wanted to say “Urg screw it…I am gonna go take a nap” (I didn’t feel well nor did I sleep well and I did take a nap later after the race). But as much as I wanted to recharge my battery, I stayed with the race and watched the whole thing and I was so glad I did because I got to see TEAM OFFICE DEPOT at its best- they fought back long and hard and Tony got his two laps back (one the hard way and one lucky dog) even after having a problem with the fueling choreography on one of their pitstops. It was good strong team work that got Tony to move up to another 8th place finish, moving him up two places in the points to 6th. Congrats to Kurt Busch for winning the Kobalt Tools 500.
Other notes on Atlanta:
- I don’t remember who crashed…but someone crashed right in front of Joey Logano and he did a remarkable job getting through the crash-way to go for the rookie.
- Also speaking of Joey Logano- I don’t remember if it was Jeff Hammond or Darrel Waltrip who coined the phrase “The Whole Logano” in reference to a car who has severely scraped the right side of their car along the wall so badly you can’t even read the numbers on their car. That made me chuckle. I know he’s a rookie and really green…but you have to admit it’s funny.
- What was with the butt bumping by the Stewart-Haas teammates? First Ryan Newman tags Kyle Busch so hard in the rear end he damages his bumper. Then Tony Stewart appears to do the same thing to Joey Logano. Darrel said he thought Tony was trying to bump draft Logano but that didn’t make sense to me. Did Logano check up or did Tony want to give him a push so that Logano knew he was there? Not sure. Probably only Tony knows for sure.
- Way to go Jeff Gordon for finishing a strong second- even with a problematic clutch.
Next Week: Is an off week for NASCAR. Next Race is March 22nd at my favorite track to watch on tv…BRISTOL.
Everyone’s Aunt Ginny’s Taxing MI-5:
1. I got my tax refund last week. Have you filed yet? Will you get a refund? What are your plans for the money? Save? Spend? Something you’ve been wanting and can now get with the “extra money? My taxes are easy peasy so I file right away. I don’t get a whole lot back but I am saving what I did get back for right now…
2. Do you do your own taxes or have someone else do them? I used TurboTax.com and found it very easy to use. I do my own- like I said mine are easy so I am all about EZ forms.
3. Have you ever been audited? What was it like? Nope…I haven’t been audited. But I did make a mistake on my taxes last year…I reversed two numbers and they found it and fixed it. I t was actually in my favor- so yey.
4. Did anyone else hear that Seniors will be getting checks for $250? I heard it once and then nothing more about it. Seems only fair since they don’t benefit from a reduction in payroll taxes. Your thoughts? My thoughts is more money is a good thing no matter who you are. Rich, poor, young or old…right now we could all use a bit more cash in the pocket.
5. Do you wait until April 15 to file if you have to send a check? Or do you just want to get it over with? I usually end up owing the state taxes a couple buck (except this year my high yield saving account interest went way down so I didn’t owe I actually am due back money). I usually just want to get it over with and send in my check when I do my taxes.
And now the Friday Fill-in 114:
1. Telling strangers in the crazy line at the woman’s restroom last Sunday that there was another restroom down the mezzanine with no line was my last random act of kindness.
2. Another place another time…it might have worked.
3. Always listen to you gut in matters of the heart.
4. Coffee, tea or soda.
5. I am afraid we are on separate paths.
6. Our friendship reminds me that there is still kindness and love in the world.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to laundry or I will have to go commando tomorrow, tomorrow my plans include SLEEP-I need a break after my race-cation and Sunday, I want to watch Tony and team office depot dominate at Atlanta!
I am still working on getting my pictures edited and uploaded for your viewing pleasure. However I thought in the mean time I would entertain you with a story of driving hijinks. Or not really.
Yesterday during my lunch break I drove my car into the town next to where I work. I have a PO BOX there and I wanted to pick up my 9 days worth of mail, fill up the gas tank, get lunch, and do some shopping. So I leave the post office and go to get gas, then head towards the little shopping center. The light in front of me turns yellow. At this point, it’s what we would call a pretty stale yellow light. So I make the extremely poor decision to go through it. The minute my rear tires cross over the crosswalk into the intersection? The light- she turns red. I cringe and say SHIT under my breath. Then I look up into my rearview mirror- and I see it. That dreaded dreaded thing…the blue and red lights of a cop pulling me over. Again I muttered SHIT! under my breath and made my way to the right so I could pull over. What you don’t know is I have heard rumors about said police officers in this town being kinda of hard-asses. So granted I had never had experience with them- I had these rumors swimming in my head and I was starting to panic just ever so slightly.
This is only the second time I have ever been pulled over…the first time was about 8 years ago for speeding…but it was on federal land and I was being pulled over by a federal officer (which was actually good because it didn’t mean points on my driving record or anything like that). All I could think of was SHIT this is DEFINITELY a moving violation- there are no bones about it. And I did KNOW better and shouldn’t have gone through the light. It was my fault and I had no defense or excuse and that I am pretty much screwed.
I get flustered and roll down my drivers window…forgetting that most officers now approach on the passenger side of the car. So I rolled down my passenger window and hand him my registration and proof of insurance- which I had just retrieved from the glove box. He asks for my license- so I am fumbling through my purse looking for my wallet (now I have the smallest purse- all I can fit in it is my checkbook, my wallet and my cell phone and if I am lucky a pack of gum or tictacs). Why couldn’t I find my wallet…oh wait there its. Thank goodness. I may have been panicking just a wee little bit. The officer asks me if I am Amy and if I still live at (my residence). I say yes to both and hand him my license. He asks me what I am doing in (town). I told him I work nearby and often come in on my lunch break. Today I happened to be going to the drugstore across the way. He told me very nicely that he was pulling me over for running the red light. And then proceeded to tell me that (town) has their yellow lights set really quick – that they change very quickly and that the minimum red-light running fine is $381.00- he knows because he was just coming back from court on that for another person. Inside my head I was yelling SHIT- I can’t afford to waste $400 on me being stupid!!! I nodded and apologized. AND THEN HE TOLD ME HE WAS GOING TO JUST GIVE ME A WARNING…because I didn’t look like someone who ran red lights all the time. Later this would make me chuckle…does a red-light runner have a police profile…what do they look like?? I probably thanked the officer about sixteen million times… profusely.
So…as the officer was pulling away and I was putting my license back in my wallet I notice that he happens to be a motorcycle officer. My dad has a theory that motorcycle officers don’t give warnings. If they pull you over you are going down for the ticket. Well I just proved him wrong and when I go to tell him this later that night the only thing he has to say is WHY WERE YOU RUNNING RED LIGHTS? And HE ONLY GAVE YOU A WARNING? Making me feel like I am seventeen or something.
When I told my coworker why I was slightly late getting back from lunch, she said “How ironic is it that you just drove like 1000 miles round trip to go to Vegas yet you get pulled over like 3 miles from work the next day.” Ironic indeed. Ironic but lucky.