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(Photo source: Zimbio.com/Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I usually cut one quote from the race release that I like and share it for the week’s Quotable Tony Stewart- but this week- the release is so short I will just share the whole thing:

What does it take to be successful at Charlotte?

“It always seems like it’s a battle of trying to get your car to cut through the center of the corner and keep the forward drive in it. It seems like it’s a sacrifice of one or the other, but the two ends of the track are different. It seems like you can carry a lot more speed through (turns) one and two, and (turns) three and four are a little more thread-the-needle-type corners. Sometimes there isn’t a big difference between the fall and spring races at Charlotte. They’re spread out so far and they’re at the beginning of summer and the end of summer, so a lot of times they can be very similar.”

How important is it for you to win races and compete for a championship in what’s going to be your last year in Sprint Cup?

“It’s very important. I still want to win races and I can’t think of a better way to go out than to go out on top by winning races and winning a championship. We’re going to continue to put all of our effort toward that and I can promise you next year is not a ‘coast-and-collect’ year. It’s just the opposite because I don’t have to worry about making anybody mad next year and having to deal with it in 2017. We’ve just got to put something on the back of the car that reminds them that I’m not driving it anymore. I can rough everybody up next year, if that’s what it takes to accomplish my goals, and sit there and just smile and laugh about it at Homestead.”

So there’s no “mailing it in” next season?

“No. This added year is not just a ‘ride-it-out’ year. We are going to do everything we can to win races and win another championship. I’m looking forward to that.”

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:  (more…)

What’s been rolling around my brain like loose lugnuts in a pit stall during a green flag pitstop:

(photo source: Zimbio.Com/Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

1. I am looking for your stories about being a Smoke fan in your own words to publish here on BadGroove. Why you are fan, what drew you to being a smoke fan,  your experiences as a fan, an experience meeting Tony, etc. I can’t pay you for your content- this site makes NO money- but what I can offer you is that I will attribute the article to you and pump the heck out of it on all my social media channels. Please feel free to email me (badgruv@netzero.com) or facebook message me with any questions.  Here is one example.  I would really REALLY like to get more stories like these to feature on BadGroove throughout the next year.

2. Last week I brought you part 1 of the Ralph Shaheen interview with Tony Stewart  for Speed Sport News- here is part 2.  It’s a great interview.

3. Add this one to the completely stupid headlines circular bin: The interview last week during pre-race with Jeff Burton, which yesterday NBCSports tweeted out with the headline: Tony Stewart Hasn’t Lost His Passion For Racing, like that was breaking news or something.  While the interview is good- that is just an asinine headline NBC Sports not to mention a sensationalist tweet. Thanks for that (insert eyeroll here). (more…)

October 3, 2015: at the Dover International Speedway, in Dover, DE . (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Tony Qualified: Qualifying was rained out so starting position was based on points so Tony started 25th

Tony Finished: 26th (four laps down)

Points: 581 (25th in points standings)

We were lucky they got a race in at all at Dover but Joaquin must have been a race fan because he turned and went out to sea (but not before sending record amounts of rain to the Carolinas).  Unfortunately Dover wasn’t so lucky as to not get any rain- and qualifying was rained out as was most of the practices.  Before the race? Cup cars had seen only 40 minutes of practice all weekend long. (more…)

In light of Tony’s “retirement” announcement, I have decided to open up BadGroove to Tony Stewart fans who want to tell their stories about Tony. It can be anything- your thoughts on his retirement, what he’s meant to you, a specific experience you had meeting Tony, anything really that YOU want to say in your own words.  You can also share your own pictures of Tony if you have some (you MUST be the photographer). This, our first submission, is from Smoke fan Judy Seigworth (@jseigworth). Judy you might remember also shared her Smoke Show experience with us earlier this year.  Thank you Judy for sharing your love of Smoke with us and taking time to write this piece! — Amy

Judy and Nelson Stewart at the Smoke Show, 2015 (Photo Credit: Judy Seigworth)

As a fan of anything involving cars and as a race fan, I have seen drivers come and go.  Many make an impact on the sport of racing but only a small group makes a lasting impact on the sport of racing.  Tony Stewart’s name will be added to that list.  He has won championships in all forms of racing that he has participated in full time, done it his way and left his mark on this sport.  Some marks have been made on other cars and drivers too but that persona is just part of why we love him.  But he has brought a lot to this sport and given it character.  He has impressive numbers as a driver and owner of wins and championships.

It was announced officially, Tony Stewart is retiring from driving a Cup car in NASCAR after the 2016 season.  He co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Gene Haas and moving into the next phase of that ownership was always in Tony’s plans.    However Tony is a race and as a racer he will always race.  If you have your doubts of that look no further than Tony’s dad Nelson Stewart.  Nelson still loads up and goes racing all over the country when he wants at the age of 79.  Anyone that knows them both will tell you the acorn didn’t fall very far from the tree with those two.  After having met both of them, in some ways I say it is still attached.  I am not talking emotionally dependency but Tony is almost a carbon copy of his dad in personality, drive and determination.  I wouldn’t be surprised one day to see them both roll up to a track somewhere and unload and race, once 2016 season is over. (more…)

Daytona Feb 2015. (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

“Dover is probably the track where we have struggled the most, which certainly made the 2013 win that much sweeter. It was the one track that we always had to look at and say, “This is one that we have to figure out and do better if we’re going to have a shot at this.” We have to survive there. What we did there that year helped us out for our next two races at Dover but, even with the win, we have some work to do.” Tony Stewart 2015 Dover Team Release

Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Daytona, Feb 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)


Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

Darlington, March 2014. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

The lugnuts have been rolling around a little more than normal on this pit stop.  Here you go:

1. If you are looking for my post on Tony Stewart announcing his retirement- it is located here. It was pretty much one of those “knee jerk” posts and after I wrote it I published it then nearly yanked it down – but Misty told me I should keep it up since it’s honest.  I have more to write about Tony Stewart himself- but I have a year to do that right? So I am letting that ruminate in the old brain bucket for a while longer. I will say I am thankful he is giving us fans a year to digest it.

2. Here are some articles about Tony that I have enjoyed recently: ESPN- Tony Stewart’s Brief Indy Car Career Still Stands Out, USA Today- NASCAR Will Lose Star Power When Tony Stewart Walks Away, National Speed Sport - Interview With Ralph Shaheen.

3. I have been considering taking in submissions from fans to post here about Tony Stewart- why you are a fan, what made you stay a fan, etc.  Anything fans would be willing to share about being a fan of Stewart.  If you are interested in submitting something of this nature to Badgroove.com for possible publication feel free to email me (badgruv@netzero.com) or Facebook message me.  I would publish them throughout the year- so it’s definitely something you could take your time with – if you are interested just let me know.


You had to know I would write about this right?—AMY

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

It rained on my drive into work this morning. I don’t know that you could call it a light rain as the drops were big, fat thick drops that didn’t just land on my windshield but announced each of their arrivals with a wet thud.  I guess you would call it a brief shower.  So brief that our dry, drought-ridden soil wouldn’t even look wet and the roads wouldn’t get slick.  It was just enough to turn a normal drive wistful as I carried on into work because I don’t like rain in general.  But then- the more I thought about how hard up the entire state is for water I was a tad okay with it and even wished for more of it since we really need it.

I mentioned this in my last post on the subject, that retirement for Tony Stewart was going to come sooner or later (I had hoped later) as it almost always does with everyone- driver, technology support services user services specialist (yes I know it’s a mouthful and technically it’s only half my title), librarian, teacher, chief compliance officer, what ever you do.  I absolutely stand by my words that I am not ready for a NASCAR without Tony Stewart as a driver and I am not. Still. But watching Tony’s press conference announcing his retirement has left me with the realization that while yes I am sad…I am sad for me. Not for Tony Stewart.

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/ Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

It started off when Tony mentioned that first off while he was retiring from driving a NASCAR Sprint cup- he wasn’t retiring as an owner nor would he never be stepping into a race car again.  It started to solidify when one of the members of the press started to go over his legacy stats, and totally solidified for me when he said that he has won more championships as an owner than as a driver. Tony’s press conference left me with the realization that while the hard core Tony Stewart fan is sad, I can’t help but the both happy and grateful.

Yes happy. Why? Because Tony is stepping out of the drivers seat on his own terms and taking time to do things he’s put on the back burner. He seemed happy during the press conference, and dare I say even a little excited about taking this next step.  I can’t help but support that and be happy for him.  He stated that this was 100% his decision and the past several years (the broken leg and tragic accident) didn’t make the decision for him.  This was something I fretted about.  I am happy because to take a comment a Facebook friend of mine made on one of his own posts and make it my own- it’s not like the Tony Train is going to pull into Homestead at the end of next season and just stop. It’s just heading on a different track.

I am grateful because he is giving us fans one more year as a Sprint Cup (or whatever the series will be called next year) driver and he states that he is putting himself all in during that year.  That is 36 more points paying races he is giving us fans and I for one am grateful for every single one of them. So grateful that I have already applied for tickets to a race I have never been to without even knowing exactly when that race will be.

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America

I don’t know about you all, but I plan to spend the next 44 NASCAR points races (and the three non points races) cheering my guts out for Tony.  It sounds to me like he is “hellbent on victory” to quote one of his shirts and so am I.  All I can say is consider yourself warned because if you thought I should have come with a warning label before-  you ain’t seen nothing yet.

So yeah- it rained a little today. And while I don’t like rain. That Rain? Is a good thing.

PS. I disagreed with one thing Tony said during the press conference. He DOES deserve accolades similar to Jeff Gordon next year. He might not want them- but he has earned them.


I would like to encourage all of my Smoke fans to not just thank Tony Stewart for what he’s meant to you as fans- but to take part on the StandWithSmoke.com Tony Stewart Foundation campaign to show Tony on twitter that we love and support and STAND with him in ALL aspects. It’s really easy to do:

1. Donate at least $1.00 to StandWithSmoke.com (if you donate at least $10.00- your donation is doubled by an anonymous donor up to a total donation of $50,000 – which means the foundation would get $100,00).

2. Print out your #StandWithSmoke sign (the link will be in your email receipt).

3. Post a picture or video (or both) of you with your sign on the Tony Stewart Foundation FaceBook page or on twitter with the hashtag #StandWithSmoke and tag @14TSF.

September 27, 2015: during the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Speedway, in Loudon, NH . (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Tony Qualified: 27th

Tony Finished: 11th!!!

Points: 563 (25th in points standings)

So, qualifying this week wasn’t the best. Tony Stewart didn’t make it past the first round, thus ended up starting the race at New Hampshire 27th, sadly making him the lowest qualifier among the four Stewart-Haas drivers.  After I found out how qualifying went, I told myself Tony doesn’t usually qualify well.  I blamed the fact of it on the fact that the teams were running the original 2015 aero package. All that pep talking to myself (just to clarify I wasn’t really talking to myself- this was all internal in my head) didn’t really lift my hopes up for the race.  I should learn not to trust myself when it comes to these things- because I would say that this ended up being the best race that they have had in awhile. (more…)