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Well pretty soon we will be heading into The Bud Shootout at Daytona and it can not get here fast enough for me.  Of course I am especially excited to see Stewart-Haas drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman in action- and see the teams working as a whole.  I remember being shocked and slightly horrified when Tony made his initial announcement last season that he would be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to form Stewart-Haas, but the more I heard him talking about it throughout the rest of the 2008 season the more excited I became and less anxious.

Then we entered what I like to call the dark part of the year, the NASCAR offseason, which is torturous for me.  The news about my favorite drivers is far and few between and I am left to read what other bloggers think about the new season.  Rumors and opinions abounded this off season and one thing I was surprised to find out is that there are a lot of people out there who do NOT think Tony will be a good owner and that this owner/driver situation will NOT work out for him.  They talk about his temperament not being fitting for an owner and they talk about others who have gone before him (Michael Waltrip is often brought up into these discussions).

What many of these people fail to mention is that Stewart IS already a team owner.  He is owner of the successful Tony Stewart Racing USAC and WOO teams.  Not to mention that Stewart actually owns other companies, including an R/C company and True Speed Communications.  He has been quoted as saying all along- he learned from Joe Gibbs that it’s important to put the right people in the right roles with in the company. Also- have they seen any of the pre-season press from Tony this season. For someone who isn’t the right temperament- he sure looks fairly relaxed and pretty happy.

Do I Look Stressed To You?

Do I Look Stressed To You?

I, of course, would love for the naysayers to be totally wrong.  I want a strong showing right out of the gate at Daytona. I know that the odds are stacked against them for that- since the team is in its infancy pretty much.  That being said I am going to predict (Ok..so it may be me being hopeful and biased) that Stewart Haas racing comes out of the stables for a fairly strong showing at Daytona.  They will then struggle a little bit in the early spring and pick back up in late spring- early summer. Per usual Tony will heat up with the weather gets hot.  And I think that when Tony gets hot this season he will be smokin’ hot (pun intended) and maybe even qualify better than he has in recent history.  I think that at least one Stewart Haas racing car will make the Chase and right now I am putting my money on Tony.

BethFish made up her own meme despite hating them. I decided to play.  She revamped the old “Interview me” meme by interviewing anyone who wanted to play along…And I am so going to play along.

I will revert back to the original meme rules though and if you want me to interview you please leave me a comment and I will email you five questions of my own…you will post the answers and offer to interview your readers.

Here are Bethfish’s questions and my answers:

1. Remember the movie Brewster’s Millions? That happens to you, except on a smaller scale. You receive a million dollars that you must spend in 30 days. However, you cannot have any assets to show for the money at the end of the month (and you can’t buy something and then destroy it), you cannot waste the money, you cannot give it away, and you cannot tell anyone what you are doing. How do you ditch the dough in a month or less?  First off- I don’t think I ever saw Brewster’s Millions so I hope I am answering correctly. I would sponsor a race team anonymously for a couple races. Maybe Ryan Newman’s car…since it needs sponsors for something like thirteen more races. I could use that money to take care of a couple of them- doesn’t it cost like 200,000 roughly to run one car in one race?

2. You are locked in a toy store overnight, with no way out until it reopens in the morning. What do you play with all night? I probably wouldn’t stick with one aisle. I would probably spend the most time in the puzzles, cars and barbies aisles though- maybe I will make like a city out of legos or something spectacular.

3. If you could have a dinner party with any three famous people, living or dead, you would be wasting your supernatural powers on hosting dinner parties. What would you do instead? I would use my powers to fix the economy. Or give myself the ability to transport myself to a specific place in like a second. Its a toss up.

4. What’s the best thing since sliced bread? Now, sliced bread ain’t all that impressive, so what’s the best mediocre, hum-drum improvement or advancement that has made modern life just ever so slightly more convenient for humanity, along the lines of saving yourself five seconds every time you want a piece of bread. Joey Logano. Or boxes of raisins. I can’t decide.

5. What’s your best quality? The response to this question must be a simple declarative statement. You may elaborate on that statement, provided that your elaboration does not include the words “but,” “however,” or “although,” or any other hedging, equivocating, back-sliding, gerrymandering (which is not at all appropriate in this context, but I think it should be, don’t you?) or any other type of backing down from the simple declarative statement with which you began your response. I am an awesome planner of vacations.

I watch the superbowl for the commercials. Lately though the commercials are becoming dumber.  I like commercials that make me laugh. This superbowl- only two made my list this year:

The funniest was the Bridgestone Astronaut commercial.  Reminds me of the time my best friend’s roommate’s wheels got stolen off her car. Cracks me up.

The second funniest were the Castrol Grease Monkeys. Strange days Indeed!

While I am desperately trying to find time to finish up my thoughts on my Stewart Haas post I thought I would share some NASCAR related bullets with you all. Just some News You Could Use kinda stuff:

  • After taking the plunge last season and finding myself woefully sucktacular at the fantasy racing league stuff and vowing not to do it any more…I am in a fantasy racing league again for 2009.  My big complaint about the ones I test drove last year (NASCAR.COM’s free one and PAY THE FAN’s Chase One) was that they were complicated and tedious- calling for logging in and picking of drivers once a week…and frankly I would forget to login or get frustrated and not even care.  This one is already more fun and less complicated- you get six drivers…that’s it. Its a private fan one run by one of my twitter friends….and I had a good time just picking my teams- it was a challenge but in the fun sense.  I think this is going to be way more fun!
  • NASCAR.COM has released a revamped front page to their website. Frankly? I don’t like it. I miss just being able to see the newest articles up towards the top of the page. This one is technically a “prettier” website but less functional for me that is for sure.
  • Speaking of websites, driver Denny Hamlin is about to launch his newly redesigned driver website. Rumor has it that Denny will be hosting a promotion on his website giving away tickets to every race in the series.  That’s really cool Denny.  I think a lot of drivers need to be a little more interactive with their fans. This is one way because who doesn’t love free stuff.  Another person good at this with fan club members (I have a friend who is one this is how I know) anyway is Jeff Gordon. I think that a lot of other drivers could take heed.  A couple minutes of time could do a lot PR wise. Trust me…us fans don’t need a lot of interaction but some interaction is really cool.
  • Remember how I wrote that post regarding the officedepotracing.com website Saturday night?  Well that site is still providing me with amusement.  Today during my break at work I took a tour of the 14 shop. And more importantly,   I have my official Office Depot Racing 14 desktop wall paper up now…so I feel all official and everything. This is the one I chose for work:
    Office Depot Racing

    Office Depot Racing

    and this is the one I chose for home:



    Both of these wallpapers and more are available for your downloading pleasure at officedepotracing.com

  • If you are a Dale Jr. Fan and in the Daytona Beach area from Feb. 6th – the 12th you may wish to take part in a promotion to meet Dale Jr.  Adidas has teamed up with Champs Sports to give fans the chance to meet Dale Jr. face to face.  The promotion states that the first 88 fans to make a $150 adidas purchase that includes one Dale Jr. item at the Volusia Mall Champs store will receive an Adidas Hot Pass to meet Dale Jr on Feb. 12th. Each of the 88 fans will get their photo taken with Dale and will receive a collectible frame. Also the first 88 fans to make a $50 adidas purchase including one Dale Jr Item starting on Feb 13th wil receive a Dale Jr. autographed can of Amp Energy. Store is located at the Volusia Mall at 1700 W. International Speedway Blvd in Daytona Beach Florida.
  • Regarding my Stewart-Haas Racing preseason post…I am hopefully shooting for a Wednesday morning post…so keep your peepers to the grindstone for that one.

I feel bad. Billy Rhythm tagged me like a week ago and I never played along…so here it goes:

Rules of the game:
1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo.
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

Well first off I don’t keep my pictures on my computer I keep them in my Flickr!  I know…odd. But that way no matter what computer I am using I have access to my pictures as long as there is internet so it is handy.  If I hold stead fast to the rules though I get this awesome picture my dad took with his Canon 20D at an airshow:

Jet breaking through the sound barrier/ shockwave

Jet breaking through the sound barrier/ shockwave

However I don’t think that is fair because I had nothing to do with this particular folder of pictures. I just put them in my flickr so that my dad could share them with his aerogeeks that he hangs with. Of my folders the fourth is called: Team Home Depot and the fourth picture is:

Tony Stewart Heading Back in from Practice

Tony Stewart Heading Back in from Practice

This was taken at the Las Vegas race last year- it was taken on the friday of that race weekend and if I remember correctly, Tony was coming in during practice. The reason its in my fourth folder is because I was separating out my 20 car pictures from all my race pictures for easier access a while back.

And now the four people I tag:

Janet,Chrissy, J, and Trixie.

So while futzing around on the internet this evening I checked officedepotracing.com to find it live and active. YEY.  SO while I hoped to do a Stewart-Haas racing post this weekend I got sucked into playing on the officedepotracing.com website and that post will have to wait…it’s late and I am too tired to even think about putting the thought into that post that it needs.

Anyway- the office depot racing site is pretty fun actually.  It requires flash 9.0 to be installed in Firefox but it was worth waiting for the download (yes I still have dialup. Shut up).  Just the different backgrounds on the different sections make me smile.  There is currently a contest up on their website where winners can win: A VIP trip to a NASCAR race,  HOT Laps with Tony and a $14,000 Office Depot shopping spree with Tony (hello New computer! and pens! And Stickies! and maybe a new desk! Gads I would be in office supply heaven!).  There are also some nice wallpapers- that will be fun for work because I definitely need to get rid of the old homedepot one I have up! And a place to submit questions for Tony…that might be fun if I could think of something intelligent enough to ask (like I said…I’m tired! Maybe I will think of one tomorrow).

Other than that there is the usual information, driver bio, crew chief bio, show car and driver appearance schedule, pictures and news.

Here is this week’s Friday Fill-in (Number 109!):

1. I’d really like a venti iced black tea lemonade with extra ice right now.

2. Expletives is are the words you’d most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is nine tenths of the law (according to my father).

4. Johnny Depp is Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like non-tainted peanut butter and jelly.

6. “Keep on rocking baby/Til the night is gone/on and on and on”.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going home, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and Sunday, I want to do something fun!

To the MI-5 last week:

  1. When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house I had only two things on my mind, Paul Newman and a ride home. –The Outsiders by SE Hinton
  2. When Uther Pendragon was king of England his vassal the Duke of Cornwall was reported to have committed acts of war against the land. –The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  3. I was ninety nine percent sure I was dreaming. — New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  4. “You must not tell anyone” my mother said “what I am about to tell you.” The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
  5. Witch: When shall we three meet again- in thunder, lightning or rain?- Macbeth by Shakespeare.

My books had no rhyme nor reason…just five that I pulled off and grabbed a first line from.