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Tony Stewart smiles in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Official Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

I have come across so much stuff that I have been wanting to share here BEFORE the 500 on Sunday that I am sitting here in my office* past quitting time to take advantage of the quiet and the fact that most of this stuff is fresh in my brain right now- but by the time I drive home it’s going to be gone: (more…)

Tony Stewart and Eddie Jarvis in the Daytona Garage

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2014. (photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

I had been waiting (sometimes not so) patiently for nearly 7 months: Tony Stewart’s return to the NASCAR circuit. I will admit it freely- I did not hold the same enthusiasm for NASCAR after August 4th of last season as I had before. It wasn’t the same without my driver.  That said, I was apprehensive about his return.  Two busted leg bones, infection, three surgeries, physical therapy…that is a lot to come back from.  But after listening to his media from Daytona this week- I was lulled into a sense of security.  Tony was in a good mood. He seemed to be feeling good- he said that the last two weeks- even he had been impressed with his rehabilitation.  He was obviously chomping at the bit to get back into the car. He claimed he had no fear, no worries (I honestly don’t see how this is possible after such a major injury but good for him) and that there was no back up driver waiting in the wings should it be too much (well not a real one anyway- he did tell journalist Bob Pockrass he was his back-up driver).  Tony displayed his normal charisma and swagger during media. Not only was my beloved NASCAR back for the season but my driver was back in the saddle again*!

I heard good things about practice for the shootout- Tony’s first time driving the 14 since Pocono (I think) last season.  He was comfortable (he used the it’s like an old pair of shoes analogy) and the car was competitive.  Both things I like to hear.  Tony Stewart was ready for the Unlimited and so was I.

Tony Stewart strapped in and ready to go at Daytona.

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. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

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Tony Stewart on the NASCAR ’14 cover.

I am so excited that I get to bring my readers this interview with Ed Martin, Executive Vice President of Eutechnyx North America- the company that developed NASCAR ’14!  I know that I was among the fans voting EVERY DAY to bring Tony Stewart to the cover of NASCAR ’14 and obviously all of my Tony Stewart fan readers were as well because as you’ll find out in this interview- he won by quite a bit.  I know that you all are just as excited as I am for February 18th for the release of NASCAR ’14 and I hope that you will enjoy this interview about what it takes to develop a game like NASCAR ’14 and working with Tony Stewart for the ad campaign that I know you all love just as much as I do: (more…)

I have been as antsy for the 2014 season to start as I can ever remember being.  I am sure most Tony Stewart fans know that feeling I am talking about. Hopefully it brings back our beloved driver into the driver’s seat where he belongs, where we love to see him.  Since his injury at the beginning of August I know that I personally struggled to maintain much of an interest in the 2013 NASCAR season.  It was hard for me to get into it on that personal enjoyment level. Yes my driver’s car was out there being piloted (mostly by Mark Martin – but also by Max Papis and Austin Dillon depending on the race) and yes my driver happens to also be an owner so I had other teams to root for, but it felt much like watching football feels to me. I am vaguely interested in what is happening but not personally vested in it. I miss that feeling.

That said- there is still the unknown for our driver. How will he be able to physically be able to handle the car? The 500 is a long race.  He will only have been in the car a bit for the practices and Sprint Unlimited. I know he is chomping at the bit to get into the car and drive and I honestly can not blame him- I WANT him in there too…but part of me worries it is too soon, he’s not healed enough, etc. Because I am a worrier- that is what I do.  So this fear of the unknown is knot one.

But now- NASCAR is switching everything up this season. (more…)

(L-R) Gene Haas, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and driver of the #14, Danica Patrick, driver of the #10, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4, Kurt Busch, driver of the #4, and Mike Arning, public relations for Stewart-Haas Racing, speak with the media during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour. (Photo Source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

If I took one thing from 2014 NASCAR media tour in Charlotte this week it is this: Tony Stewart is EXCITED for the 2014 season. Don’t believe me? He said “excited” 20 times during the general media scrum (I was going to go back to the transcript and count because I noticed it while he was speaking but thanks to Nate Ryan I don’t have to) and a bazillion more times during his interview on SiriusXM (click on link to hear his excitable snippet) after they broke out into individual sessions. I love it. This season is going to be a great one- I can feel it. (more…)

To use one of Amy’s favorite words: flummoxed – that is exactly what I was last weekend when I got the details of this year’s Meet and Greet opportunities with Jeff Gordon. I was beyond excited when it was announced that Jeff would be holding meet and greet opporunities this year for fans at EVERY race. I even said to Amy, “Whoo hoo that man is going to get sick of seeing us!”.

Having attended the last Jeff Gordon Network event in Phoenix a few years back, I was not surprised that there was a fee to participate. As I recall it was $40 a person, but that got you a breakfast with the other attendees, some swag, and of course the whole reason for attending – a moment with Jeff, one on one on stage, to talk to him and have a personal photo taken. Seemed reasonable, after all they did have to rent a room to hold the event in, they served breakfast and whatever else. However, I was more than a little surprised when I opened up the email last weekend to find out the cost to attend was $599.00 PER PERSON! I was left searching for some misplaced decimals to say the least. Even more surprising, for that amount of money there is no mention of a meal, although they do promise an autographed item, BUT get this “due to time constraints” you will likely have your picture taken with Jeff and four to five other fans! Is it April? Cause someone has GOT to be fooling me!

Now I am just about as devoted of a Jeff Gordon fan as you can get. I think he is a great person on and off the track and his humanitarian work truly makes me proud to call him my driver, but there is something just so unsettling about this. Why is the cost SO much? To me it is not even a matter of affordability, I could have Warren Buffet sized bank accounts and would not spend that to meet anyone. If you are attending or planning to attend, I think that is great and I am in no way judging you- but I truly do want to hear from you and find out what about this offer seems reasonable or appealing to you.

Needless to say, this is one fan who is not planning to attend any of the events this year. I can think of any number of better ways to spend my money than on this- heck I think I would even be better off to buy 6 tickets to Jeff’s corvette raffle, where the money goes to a fantastic charity, The Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital. At least then I am giving to a good cause, could win a car, and likely meet Jeff anyway and not have some strangers mucking up my picture with the man. Just saying …

Remember back when NASCAR ’14 (the video game) was running a Facebook competition where NASCAR fans could vote for who was going to be on the cover? I voted EVERY SINGLE round for Tony.  I figured it was a way I could support my driver while he was on the mend from his broken leg. I guess a bunch of my fellow Tony Stewart fans felt the same way I did because as many of you already know Tony Stewart won.  In the end he was up against driver Jeff Gordon (whom I might add is usually second in the Most Popular Driver voting- second to Dale Earnhardt Jr.) so I was a little surprised…but not THAT surprised. Tony Stewart fans had banded together to show their support.  Well guess what? That game is coming out in just a little over a month!  NASCAR ’14 is scheduled to be released on February 18 for XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC!

Tony Stewart on the NASCAR ’14 cover.

I will admit it right here right now: for a professional geek (I work in technical customer service/support in the educational field) I am not a big gamer.  I figure I am in front of a computer 40 hours a week for my day job, more at home for my blog. Whatever other screen time I have in a week goes to things like facebook (of course), personal photo editing, and other stuff like that.  I WILL admit that I do play Words with friends (hey that is technically facebook right?) and recently I have gotten pulled back into TheSims with their FreePlay ap for Kindle but other than that I am not a big gamer.  I do have the gamer gene though- my dad is a big fan of COD, and lately World of Tanks. However- if my driver- Tony Stewart is on the cover of a game? I will own that game!  I will play that game! I can’t wait for the release of NASCAR ’14.

“You want to show all those wanna be knuckleheads out there what it means to drive…” Tony Stewart in the NASCAR ’14 ad (see video below)

So I didn’t even need to see the ad to know that I would own NASCAR ’14…but the ad? It’s so good. I absolutely love love LOVE this ad:


Here are some features of NASCAR ’14 the game if you are interested:

  1. NASCAR Highlights: Take advantage of “NASCAR Highlights” to determine the outcome of the biggest race thrills from the season.  Eutechnyx recreates the action where the condition of the cars is exact, weather the same, track positions identical – the only difference is you!
  2. Career Mode: Work your way through the ranks in a comprehensive career mode; complete with custom car builds, sponsor acquisition, and R&D to get your team into victory lane.
  3. Official Teams & Tracks: Race against the official NASCAR teams & drivers on your favorite tracks from the high banks of Daytona, to the twists & turns of Sonoma, and exhilarating speed of Talladega.
  4. Leagues: Take competition to the next level and host online leagues with your friends, fully supported by dynamic statistics, challenges, rankings and replay.
  5. Online Multiplayer:  Take advantage of dynamic skill-based matchmaking, tournaments, and easy drop in/out server browser functionality for a fair and enjoyable experience.

It looks fun to me:

NASCAR ’14 Screenshot

You can find more information about NASCAR 14 by checking out:  https://www.facebook.com/NASCARGaming, https://twitter.com/NASCARGaming, or http://www.etxracing.com.

#14in14

As I mentioned in my last post, Tony Stewart appeared at a grand opening of the new River Run Xfinity Comcast retail store in Jacksonville, Florida. The store showcases the innovation and speed of Xfinity products, and is designed entirely around the needs of customers, offering consumers an opportunity to explore and interact directly with the latest Xfinity products and services. At the grand opening ceremony Tony was also present with a check for $15,000 for the Tony Stewart Foundation from Comcast. For those not familiar with The Tony Stewart Foundation- it celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary as a foundation last year and has awarded $5.2 million to outstanding organizations serving children, animals and injured motor racing drivers in 41 of 50 states, including Florida!

Tony helps the Mayor cut the ribbon

Jacksonville, Florida, Mayor Alvin Brown (center) cuts the grand-opening ribbon along with NASCAR driver Tony Stewart (second from left) and Comcast executives on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, during a special event celebrating the new River City Xfinity® store location in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo credit: Comcast Florida/Dan Van Slyke, Jr.).

Tony Stewart and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart addresses attendees while Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown looks on during the grand-opening celebration of the new River City Xfinity store location in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. (Photo credit: Comcast Florida/Dan Van Slyke, Jr.).

Tony gets a really big check.

Three-time NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series™ champion Tony Stewart is presented with a $15,000 donation to The Tony Stewart Foundation on behalf of Comcast by Derek Cooper, Regional Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Investment in Florida for Comcast, on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, during the grand-opening celebration of the new River City Xfinity® store location in Jacksonville, Florida. Last year, The Tony Stewart Foundation marked 10 years as a charitable foundation and has awarded $5.2 million to outstanding organizations serving children, animals and injured motor racing drivers (Photo credit: Comcast Florida/Dan Van Slyke, Jr.).

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